BizFeed: American Airlines Workers Allege Racism, Safety Hazards
1. American Airlines and US Airways Under Investigation
The News: Eighty airline workers from Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. say American Airlines and US Airways managers “routinely use racial slurs,” and “deny minority workers perks and training,” according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
They’re also accused of purposely delaying or botching repairs, leaving employees “petrified” to use certain equipment. The allegations were outlined in complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Daily News said. American Airlines and US Airways merged in 2013, and have a big presence at the Philadelphia International Airport.
American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein denied the charges, telling the newspaper that the airline’s safety procedures are among the best in the industry and that diversity is one of its core values.
Why It Matters: The allegations are particularly heinous. Accusations of racist practices against employees is enough to raise plenty of eyebrows, but allegedly shirking safety standards is just unsafe to the public at large. We’ll be following this one closely.
2. Google to Add “Buy” Button
The News: For years it was rumored, and now it’s actually happening. Google is set to create a “buy” button “that will allow shoppers to purchase products that come up in its paid shopping ads” on mobile devices, says Fortune. It’s expected to be unveiled next month.
Why It Matters: It’s obvious that Google is much more than a search engine. Now the increasingly diversified company is throwing itself into the highly competitive e-commerce game, pitting it against Amazon, eBay and others.
3. Instacart Offering Employment Status to Contract Workers
The News: Fast-growing delivery service Instacart is now offering to make its contract employees part-time employees. That means the company will “pay for these workers’ payroll taxes, social security taxes, and so on,” said Fortune. The company initially made the offer in just two cities but has since extended it to five. Philadelphia, however, is not on the list.
Why It Matters: Maybe Instacart heard Hillary Clinton‘s economic talk on Monday where she vowed to crack down against the sharing economy and all the part-time workers it’s creating. Fortune believes it’s a response to the lawsuits filed against Instacart and other new-economy companies like Uber and Postmates.
“It’s difficult to believe that the recent legal issues surrounding the practice of employing contract workers to skirt on labor costs, popular among many new ‘on-demand’ service startups,” said Fortune.