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Power to the Peep-le: Union workers claim a sweet win over old man ’mallow
Last week, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a group of marginalized marshmallow Peeps makers who accused their employer, Just Born Quality Confections, of illegally withholding pensions from new workers.
The union’s $60m+ victory over the not-so-sweet candy maker is an increasingly uncommon win for organized labor, which is steadily losing ground, and as employers opt for short-term benefits.
Why don’t we normally hear a peep about unions?
The percentage of American workers in unions hit the lowest point of all time in 2016 -- in 1983, 1 in 5 Americans was in a union, but today it’s only 1 in 10.
Though, that only partly explains it -- the other reason is that most unions don’t have enough power to strike like they used to. Over the past 25 years, the number of strikes decreased by 87% -- dropping 6x faster than union membership.
So, why the bold move?
The Mike and Ike and Hot Tamale-makers -- members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers union -- voted unanimously to strike after Just Born eliminated pensions for new employees in an effort to win back their retirement benefits.
So is the future full of marshmallows, strikes, and pensions?
Unfortunately for organized laborers and pensioners, the challenges of supporting pensions that afflict Just Born exist across the country.
As freelance work becomes more common and employees hop from employer to employer, companies have very little incentive to contribute money toward long-term benefits -- preferring to offer 401(k)s over pensions, stock options over benefits, and bonuses over raises.
So don’t let that sugar rush get to your head -- small strikes may hold companies accountable to existing pension promises in the short run, but pensions are past their prime.
IRAs never looked so good
Wall Street sees the ’Sign: DocuSign stock jumps 38% in first day of trading post-IPO
Cloud-based esignature company DocuSign raised $629m in their IPO last Thursday at $29 a share -- higher than their previous range of $26-$28, which they already had to raise from $24-$26 after their IPO roadshow got investors hot n’ bothered.
The $29 share price alone put their valuation at $4.4B -- nearly $1.5B more than their 2015 value -- but D-Money’s winning streak didn’t stop there.
Signy D is the 8th cloud company to go public this year alone, as the cloud craze continues to make it rain.
The 15-year-old company’s IPO has been in the works since 2013, but according to Bloomberg,conflicting opinions on their board and a 15-month CEO search set them back a few years.
The fine print: profitability
Since taking the helm, CEO Dan Springer has taken DocuSign global and made the company cash-flow positive -- but profitability continues to elude the document darling.
So, what’re their profitability prospects like looking forward? In response to CNBC’s questions about DocuSign’s history of operating losses (they lost $52m last year), Springer said he felt “pretty good” that they’ll be able to turn it around.
Forget what your English teacher told you -- trade jobs pay pretty darn well
Contradicting the advice of grandmas and guidance counselors everywhere, a recent NPR feature reports that there are tons of high-paying jobs out there -- 30m, in fact -- that don’t require a college degree.
But, many young workers opt (and take on debt) for 4-year college instead of taking lucrative trade jobs -- creating 68% more job openings in infrastructure than there will be bodies to fill them over the next 5 years.
Turns out, trade jobs are everywhere -- and they’re hiring
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 70% of construction companies nationwide are having trouble hiring -- and these aren’t your minimum wage, just-scraping-by kinda jobs.
The US Department of Education reports that 30m jobs (which don’t require a bachelor’s degree) pay an average of $55k -- almost a full $10k higher than 2017 average median personal income.
Bachelor’s degrees beat diplomas, but not always trade school
In the matchup between college degrees and high school diplomas, college is the clear victor -- by about $1m in lifetime earnings. But between bachelor’s and trade school degrees, the winner is less clear.
Lifetime earnings for bachelor’s degrees vary widely by major -- 2-year vocational degrees earn more than some 4 year degrees (arts, education) but less than others (biology, chemical engineering).
Plus, trade school grads typically pay off debt 1 to 3 years earlier -- and almost always start off with higher salaries than their peers with liberal arts degrees.
So, to all the electricians out there -- buy those poor theater majors a beer already, will ya?
BlaBlaCar acquires carpooling startup as rideshare companies consolidate
Yes, we’re talking ride-sharing again. But this time, we’re talking about a massive company that’s somehow managed to drive under the radar here in the States.
We’re talking French ride-sharing giant, BlaBlaCar.
According to TechCrunch, BlaBlaCar is acquiring Less, a less than 2-year-old, Paris-based carpooling company that focuses on urban rides, and pays drivers on a per-kilometer rate.
The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but Less raised $19m before its official launch last December, so it probably wasn’t chump change.
Then again, BlaBlaCar’s pockets are pretty deep...
Q: Are these guys rollin in it? A: Oui
Founded in 2006, today BlaBlaCar claims 60m members in 22 countries -- they’re also one of France’s most heavily funded startups.
So far, the company has brought in more than $330m from backers like Accel and Index Ventures. Not to mention their $200m Series D in 2015 still stands as the highest single funding round by a French startup, bringing them to a $1.6B valuation.
This acquisition follows a trend
BlaBlaCar has made 7 other acquisitions in its attempt to prove itself as a bona fide rideshare big fish, including its closest competitor, Carpooling.
The company will discontinue the Less brand but bring the crew on as experts in the short-distance urban driving market (BlaBla currently specializes in long distances), and is likely to adopt Less’s per-kilometer payment model for short-distance drivers.
Still better than the OG ridesharer’s payment model: Gas, grass, or a*s.
From the giant, interactive Excel spreadsheet dubbed “the bible,” helping complete orders, to tracking the latest design revisions across devices with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Microsoft 365 Business keeps The Detroit Wallpaper Company rolling (literally).
Email, Excel, cloud storage, it’s all there at a small-biz price without the IT headache. Plus, new Office 365 security features mean you can collaborate and communicate without sacrificing security -- no more link sharing with strangers.