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Costco to Raise Hourly Pay to $16 as Minimum Wage Fight Brews in Congress

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Costco raising minimum wage for its U.S. hourly employees would increase to $16 next week.

Reports show CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, says the company is raising the starting hourly wage at $16.

What We Know:

  • The fight to raise the minimum wage to $15, also affiliated with tag #Fightfor15 on Twitter, has been gaining a lot of traction this week. Corporations have been making an effort to increase their starting hourly wage due to pressure from state regulation and brewing discussions from political figures. According to a report done by NBC, Jelinek said the company has always been about providing competitive salaries and affordable health care to its employees during a senate budget committee.
  • Jelinek stated that Costco would be raising its hourly rates to $16 starting next week. Two years prior to this announcement, Costco raised their hourly rate to $15 showing that the company is progressive in raising wages for its employees. According to Jelinek, more than half of Costco’s U.S employees earn hourly wages of more than $25.
  • Raising the minimum wage is gaining support from several politicians. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., seems to be a major supporter of increasing the hourly rate for minimum wage. She sent out a tweet criticizing Republican Colleagues Mitt Roney, R-Utah, and Tom Cotton, R-ARK, for only raising the minimum wage to $10. Ocasio-Cortez says that $10 is not enough and will still have many Americans living in poverty.

  • Other politicians opposed to raising the minimum wage to $15 statewide, are filing proposals that would only allow individual citizens to benefit from the wage increase. In Florida, voters have flooded the polls to approve a constitutional amendment that will raise Florida’s minimum wage. According to News4Jax.com, Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg has filed a proposal that would allow the legislature to provide exemptions to those who would otherwise qualify for an increase in the hourly minimum wage. Those exemptions would affect workers under the age of 21, state prisoners, and workers convicted of any felonies.

Despite the great news for Costco employees, the fight to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 was not approved in Joe Biden’s COVID relief proposal.

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Business

Old Navy to Add Pockets to Girls Jeans After 1st Grader Writes Letter

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A first-grader named Kamryn Gardner noticed her jeans had fake pockets stitched in them and addressed the brand directly in a letter.

What We Know:

  • Gardner attended Evening Star Elementary school and was initially assigned the task of writing a persuasive letter as a school assignment. Gardner decided to address Old Navy in regards to her frustration with the brand not designing pockets for girl’s jeans. She included reasons why she hopes the company will add useful pockets to their current design. The letter was sent to Old Navy’s kid’s team, who commented they would be seriously committed to considering Gardner’s input on future products. Gardner and her family appeared on the Today show on Thursday to talk about their experience with Old Navy.

Gardner’s father commented, “We’re very proud of her. She is a persuasive person. She loves to talk, she’s always excited.”

  • His daughter expressed that she also just wanted a place to keep her hand warm as well as have a convenient place to stash small toys and natural treasures. Gardner’s school also posted the letters from their student and Old Navy to their Facebook page. The post garnered the attention of hundreds of people.
  • Gardner’s mother, Kim Gardner, also teaches at the school. The first-grader originally decided to write her concerns in a letter to Old Navy back in January. Kim revealed that Kamryn always periodically expressed dissatisfaction with her jeans. Kim convinced her daughter that it would be a good life lesson to send a handwritten letter to Old Navy about her problem.
  • Gardner was sent two pairs of denim pants and two pairs of shorts as a sign from the retailer that they appreciate her feedback. The products she received all had real pockets sewn onto them. She was more than excited to reveal what Old Navy had sent her during her class’s show-and-tell day.

Old Navy spokeswoman Sandy Goldberg has since stated that although Old Navy already carries a variety of girls’ pants with pockets, the company will keep Kamryn’s request in mind as more styles are developed.

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Layoffs: BuzzFeed Reduces Staff at HuffPost Weeks After Newsrooms Merge

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Just three weeks after Buzzfeed merged with Huffpost, a massive layoff has dramatically reduced the number of Huffpost staff.

What We Know:

  • Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced the cut on Tuesday during a virtual staff meeting. According to The Guardian, the layoff affected nearly 30% of HuffPost’s US-based journalists and has completely shut down HuffPost Canada.
  • The job cuts came as a surprise to many employees, including those with long tenures. HuffPost Canada’s senior reporter Samantha Beatti tweeted the abrupt layoff message, writing, “Without telling us they’ve shut down our site.”

  • The Huffington Post, as it was originally called, was founded by author and businesswoman Arianna Huffington in 2005 and was co-founded by Peretti, Andrew Breitbart, and Kenneth Lerer before Peretti created Buzzfeed. This cut results from the ongoing pandemic as many media corporations look to downsize to avoid closure. Peretti told staffers the layoff was to cut costs and halt two years of financial losses after HuffPost’s exceeded $20 million last year in losses and are estimated to have similar results this year.
  • Peretti defended his decision by telling sources from CNN, “The most responsible thing we can do is to manage our costs and ensure BuzzFeed — and HuffPost — are set up to prosper long-term.” Peretti said. “That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure HuffPost to reach profitability more quickly. Our goal is for HuffPost to break even this year.”

Peretti also announced that the executive editors of HuffPost, Louise Roug, and Hillary Frey, would be leaving the company as well.

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Goldman Sachs Is Unveiling A New $10 Billion Plan to Invest in Jobs, Health Care & Housing for Black Women

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The “One Million Black Women” initiative is Wall Street’s latest endeavor in promoting equity in the financial industry.

What We Know:

  • Goldman Sachs announced that they would invest more than 10 billion dollars in improving black women’s economic status during the next decade on Wednesday. Forbes says the strategy would fight the “dual disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
  • The increased scrutiny of financial inequality aided the project’s creation. The criticism of Wall Street worsened after protests for George Floyd’s death last summer. People were reminded that United States banks contributed to the fiscal disparages between people of color and white people through the now-illegal redlining.
  • The initiative will focus on areas of struggle such as healthcare, job creation, access to capital, and education. They will also set aside another 100 million dollars to fund African-American women’s philanthropic ventures. Figures like Rosalind Brewer, the first black female CEO of Walgreens, and Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives at Apple Inc., will be on the advisory council. Former New Orleans mayor and CEO of National Urban League Marc Morial will participate as well on the council.
  • Goldman Sachs also published a report known as “Black Womenomics.” It describes the bank’s goal to quantify the gender and racial biases women face daily. It concentrates on the wage gap between black women and white men. The difference between white men’s and black women’s pay stands at 35%. The document also discusses investment opportunities for women of color that will help them fight income differences. Goldman Sachs says that reducing the gap could potentially create 1.2-1.7 million jobs. It will also raise the GDP by approximately $450 million annually.

As of February, the unemployment rate for women was 5.9%. However, 8.9% of women did not have a job. “Black Womenomics” and “One Million Black Women” will ensure this rate lowers drastically. The bank is making women of color feel heard and represented amid a pandemic and changing social times.

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