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Baristas At Slack’s SF HQ Score Severance Packages

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Also: The deadline to order Girl Scout cookies has been extended, and more news to start your day

Workplace-Messaging Giant Slack To List Shares On NY Stock Exchange Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Baristas at San Francisco-based workplace messaging company Slack — all of whom were contract workers, not employees — convinced the company to give them 90 days of severance after Slack sent its staffers home.

Vice reports that baristas at Slack, the San Francisco-based workplace messaging tool that is likely open on your desktop right now, abruptly lost their jobs earlier this month when the company’s workforce was ordered to begin telecommuting.

The group of five coffee pros operated the company’s espresso machines on a contract basis, Vice reports, and were concerned that in Slack’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, they would abruptly lose their incomes. The group reportedly penned a letter to Slack (estimated valuation as of last summer: $20 billion) CEO Stuart Butterfield (estimated net worth as of last summer: $1.3 billion) in which they said they were “out of jobs in the middle of a global pandemic,” but after “Slack caught wind of their intention to criticize the company publicly,” they were told that they’d each receive 90 days of severance.

“I’m ecstatic, and I can’t believe this is happening. I’m super grateful that organizing works and that they gave us our demands,” former Slack barista Cara Berman told Vice. “This is my first organizing victory.”

And in other news...

  • Pebble Beach Food & Wine, a Monterey Peninsula epicurean lifestyle event that draws visitors from the world over, has canceled its 2020 confab due to concerns about COVID-19. The April 16-19 festival was expected to attract about 5,000 attendees, each of whom bought tickets at a price point of $2,950 or more. [SF Chronicle]
  • An outpost of El Capitan Taqueria was expected to open this weekend in the 1725 Polk Street space most recently occupied by Miller’s East Coast Deli. It’s the third location for El Capitan, which is owned by Nimer Massis, who also owns Divisadero Street taqueria El Rancho Grande and local franchises of Five Guys and Popeyes. [Hoodline]
  • Lamea Abuelrous, the owner of Mission District coffee shop Temo’s Cafe, says that her Arabic roots (she moved to SF from Gaza about 30 years ago) are a great fit with the area’s Latino Cultural District. [SF Examiner]
  • Girl Scout Cookie sales have been extended for a week to March 22, and are available online. [East Bay Times]
  • Bay Area restaurateur Thomas Keller has closed Per Se, his New York destination, “for the health, welfare and safety of our team, guests and community.” As of publication time, his Napa restaurant the French Laundry remains open. [Thomas Keller/Instagram]
  • Burlingame startup Lyra Health has just signed a deal with Starbucks to provide digital mental health benefits for 220,000 of the coffee chain’s employees. [SF Business Times]
  • Some Bay Area restaurants are pivoting from the standard white/wood/Edison bulb look to colors and cozy (planned) clutter. [SF Chronicle]

The French Laundry

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