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12 Oct, 11 tweets, 3 min read
Workers at some fast-food chains owned by public firms are getting better wages now. It’s a different story for businesses owned by private-equity firms.

#NBCNewsThreads (1/11) nbcnews.com/business/perso…
Alma Jordan, a nursing assistant at the Marcella Center nursing home in New Jersey, said the residents she cared for over 16 years were like family.

But after Complete Care Management, the state’s largest for-profit nursing home operator, took over, it slashed benefits. (2/11) Image
“I put all my effort into this company, and someone else took over and they don’t want to give us what we deserve,” Jordan said. “For them, it’s business. It’s not about the staff and the residents. It’s only about making profits.”

In late September, Jordan quit her job. (3/11)
Complete Care owns 61 facilities in eight states. It's backed by a private-equity firm called Peace Capital in New Jersey, whose principal owner is Sam Stein.

Jordan is not alone in experiencing reduced circumstances after a company is taken over by a private-equity firm. (4/11) Image
The new titans of finance, private-equity firms use large pools of debt — typically raised in what's called the leveraged loan market — to acquire companies they hope to resell in a few years at a profit. (5/11)
The heavy debt loads they take on, combined with pressure to flip acquired companies quickly, increases the likelihood that private-equity firms will have to cut costs in the operations that they buy. Often, the first to the chopping block is the company’s workforce. (6/11)
One of the nation’s biggest private-equity employers is Roark Capital of Atlanta. It owns Inspire Brands — parent company to an array of fast-food chains that includes Arby’s, Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins and Sonic. (7/11)
Inspire Brands has worked to battle the Raise the Wage Act, which has been introduced in Congress every year since 2017 and would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour among workers. (8/11)
Some Inspire Brands workers have taken matters into their own hands. This summer, Matthew Honeycutt, 18, walked off the job at an Arby’s in North Carolina, where he was making $9.50 an hour as a shift manager. He supports an 8-month-old son. (9/11) Image
That got management’s attention, he said. “The strike was on a Tuesday, and it was about Thursday when he started getting the raises out,” Honeycutt said of his boss, who gave him a 50-cents-an-hour raise. (10/11)
Sean Dunlop, an equity analyst, said increasing pay and benefits among workers is a trend Inspire Brands won't be able to resist.

"Inspire Brands, if they want to compete, are going to be forced to raise wages. They're going to have to, whether they want to or not.” (11/11)

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More from @NBCNews

14 Oct
NEW: A school administrator in Southlake, Texas, advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have a book with an "opposing" perspective.

Listen to the audio recording obtained by @NBCNews: nbcnews.to/2YNVugH
Carroll Independent School District exec director of curriculum Gina Peddy: "Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing — that has other perspectives”

Teacher: “How do you oppose the Holocaust?”

Peddy: “Believe me, that’s come up”
Peddy made the comment Friday afternoon during a training session on which books teachers can have in classroom libraries.

The training came four days after the Carroll school board voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom.
Read 7 tweets
6 Oct
NEW: @NBCNews analysis of air pollution levels in the US suggests that the air in many regions contains much higher levels of dangerous matter than the WHO recommends in newly updated guidance. nbcnews.to/3BiyMeD
While nationwide air quality is already worse than the new threshold, it’s especially bad in California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Washington, where levels of particulate matter are more than twice the recommended limit.
The new guidance lowers the threshold for particulate matter in the air, among several other pollutants, cutting the recommended maximum amounts by half.
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
As the delta variant crept through Mississippi, Ashley Brown continued to work in elderly clients’ homes.

In July, she contracted COVID-19, forcing her off the job for two weeks. When she recovered, her job was gone. (1/6)

#NBCNewsThreads nbcnews.com/news/us-news/b…
Women of color are often likely to have low-wage jobs—which offer a critical service but lack protections, including paid sick leave.

More than a year after the pandemic-driven recession officially ended, Brown’s struggles illustrate the nation’s unequal economic recovery. (2/6)
Black workers are facing higher unemployment rates as safety nets are being whittled away, including the nation’s eviction moratorium — recently struck down by the Supreme Court — and federal unemployment benefits.
Read 6 tweets
6 Oct
Hundreds of Chinese immigrants contributed to the growth and development of Yosemite National Park, and advocates have launched efforts to raise awareness about their role.

#NBCNewsThreads (1/7) nbcnews.com/news/asian-ame…
One of those efforts is the restoration of a Chinese laundry building that opened to the public Friday. The building tells the story of Chinese immigrant workers in the park, including the stories of those who built park roads. (2/7)
Sabrina Diaz, the former chief of interpretation and education at Yosemite, said that it is the last remaining laundry building from Yosemite’s early days: "I felt like we were not preserving their part of our shared history in a way that would make them or us proud." (3/7)
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5 Oct
Health care workers are facing growing skepticism and rage from patients, leaving workers frustrated and fearful amidst the fourth wave of the pandemic.

#NBCNewsThreads (1/9)
Dr. Sheryl Recinos, a family medicine hospitalist in California, has treated people who, two weeks into hospital stays for Covid-related breathing struggles, still do not believe they have the coronavirus.

“It’s baffling. I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Recinos. (2/9)
The problem is on the rise across the country. In Missouri, one hospital is equipping staff with panic buttons after assaults by patients tripled in the last year. In Idaho, family members who do not believe Covid is real have accused doctors and nurses of killing patients. (3/9)
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1 Oct
SPECIAL REPORT: Snapchat has been linked to the sale of fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that have caused the deaths of teens and young adults in at least 15 states.

“It was as easy as ordering a pizza,” says one parent.

Reporting by @oliviasolon.

nbcnews.to/3Fciwhl Image
14-year-old Alexander Neville had been poisoned by a single counterfeit pill that, according to his toxicology report, contained enough fentanyl to kill four people.

“Snapchat is an accomplice,” his mother says.

nbcnews.to/3Fciwhl Image
In April 2020, Daniel Puerta-Johnson, 16, had taken just half of what he thought was an OxyContin pill that his dad believes he bought through Snapchat.

Daniel was soon declared brain dead and his parents made the agonizing decision to have Daniel removed from life support. Image
Read 9 tweets

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