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Work Futures Daily - Minimum Wage Up, Minimum Females on Boards Up


Work Futures

October 3 · Issue #1004 · View online
The ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

What’s next? Maximum pay for CEOs?
Beacon NY - 2018-10-03 — We’re in a time of great change in the world of work. It seems like every day there’s dozens of company announcements, laws passed, new books, and technology infringing.
Good argument for signing up to Work Futures Daily, I’d say.
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Long Takes
Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all US employees  | Sara Salinas reports on Amazon’s announcement that next month it will be raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour. This is an aggressive response to the ongoing criticism of the company’s policies. Notably, this new minimum will include part-time and temp workers, who generally are paid less that full-timers.
Weeks ago, Bernie Sanders proposed the BEZOS Act, named after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with the express goal of taxing corporations to make them return the social benefits that Sanders states state and federal governments make to employees that are underpaid. I wrote about it here and here.
It’s not clear that $15 per hour is adequate in more expensive regions. For example, New York’s airport workers just closed a deal with the Port Authority putting them on a path to $19 per hour.
Still, this closes the gap between Amazon and it’s competitors Target – raising minimum wage to $15 by 2020 – and Walmart – raising minimum wage to $11.
Amazon mentioned that this step would be reflected in future profits.
Amazon is also in the headlines for leaked training videos that show the company’s aggressive opposition to union organizing. This higher wage approach might be another argument against unions forming in the company.
California is the first US state to mandate a board quota for women | Michael Coren digs into the controversial California law signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown that mandates female directos on corporate boards.
By 2019, every public company headquartered in the state must include at least one woman on the board of directors, or face a fine. By 2021, the law will require nearly equal representation, with at least two women required for five-person boards and three women for six-person boards. (You can read the full bill here.)
Brown didn’t sugarcoat the challenges of implementing such a law. It will undoubtedly face numerous constitutional challenges in court. But he wrote in a signing statement that the time has come, especially given “recent events” in the US capital, which has been riveted, along with much of the country, by the Senate confirmation hearings of US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I don’t minimize the potential flaws that may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation. Nevertheless, recent events in Washington D.C.—and beyond—make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message,” Brown wrote.
“Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” he continued.
A number of challenges remain, however, since companies are regulated by the states in which they are incorporated, so many California companies are actually Delaware corporations.
CALmatters reports that 25% or more of 445 publicly-traded cmopanies based in California have zero women on their boards.
It would be much better if this was a federal law.

Short Takes
Humanoid construction robot installs drywall by itself | Japanese researchers are trying to counter dwindling and aging population with yet-another robot designed for the niche of construction.
The Future Of Work Is Five Different Conversations | Paul Millerd thinks there are five different conversations going on about the future of work. I thnk there are just two: the industrial, tech-centered discussion we call digital transformation, and the sociological, people-centered discourse of the future of work. And these are two sides of the same coin, since they have great overlap.
Japan’s Mothers Go Back to Work, but Find the Opportunities Lacking | Japanese women get crappy jobs and low pay when returning to work after having children, especially when trying to work part time. But even working full-time the pay gap for women is the third worst in OECD countries.
Want Equality? Make New Dads Stay Home | Joanne Lipman looks into new trend of mandatory parental leave for men.

Christopher Mims 🎆
one thing adam smith did not predict is that in a sufficiently mature economy all workers would be employed either inventing new mattress brands or creating podcasts to advertise them
6:44 PM - 1 Oct 2018
Jason Fried
I have the hardest time finishing business books. Many are twice as long as they should be, and are quite repetitive. Super proud that you can read “It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work” in just about *2 hours*. Quick read, no filler, no fluff. No excuses.
12:00 PM - 1 Oct 2018
Quote of the Day
Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster.
| Elisabeth Murdoch
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Stowe Boyd, 17 South Cedar Street, Beacon NY 12508