Weekend News & Commentary — July 2-3, 2016

With more reporting on Brexit, the Los Angeles Times explores the potential effect of the referendum on the world’s poorest workers.  Noting possible reductions in development aid and increased impediments to trade, the Times speculates that African farmers could be among the most affected because of the key role that the United Kingdom had played in promoting their access to the European market.

Turning to the more immediate effects of Brexit, Janet Daley of The Telegraph calls for civility and increased dialogue on questions of migration and worker movement.  Criticizing the reticence of prominent politicians to address these key drivers of the Leave vote, she suggests that the developing crisis among the movement’s leadership may be attributable to the lack of a clear solution to the foundational economic dislocations felt across Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In American labor news, last week the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Home Care Association of America v. Weil.  The case was a challenge by home care providers to Labor Department regulations designed to bring their workers under the aegis of minimum wage and overtime pay protections.  Today the New York Times editorial board reflects on efforts by the Obama administration and 21 states to expand protections for the primarily female, mostly minority home care workforce, urging further action.

Years of labor unrest at the Trump Taj Mahal casino and hotel boiled over Friday morning, with more than 1,000 employees going on strike after contract negotiations failed to produce a new agreement.   With the walkout entering its second day, union spokesperson Diana Hussein described cuts in wages and benefits of more than a third over the past few years, and stated that the workers were inspired by the success of the recent Verizon strike.