Weekend News & Commentary — October 1-2, 2016

The orchestras are on strike.  Starting on Friday with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the musicians’ strike continued throughout the weekend with the Philadelphia Orchestra walking out on an opening-night performance.  Musicians have taken to the picket line to protest falling wages.  The New York Times has more.

In gig news, ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft are now facing an interesting competitor.  According to the New York Times, Juno is attracting new drivers not only with a bigger cut of fares — Juno takes a 10% commission, compared to the 20% taken by Uber and Lyft — but with the promise of equity ownership.  Juno’s founders have set aside a pool of restricted stock for their highest-performing drivers, offering a creative new model for the gig economy.

Dreaming of retirement?  For a growing number of Americans, it’ll have to remain a dream.  Although retirement savings are up overall, researchers have found that the gains have not been evenly distributed — half of all families in the U.S. have less than $5,000 in their retirement accounts.  The Boston Globe takes a closer look at the problem of retirement inequality.

And across the pond, Prime Minister Theresa May is turning her attention to labor reform.  After setting a firm start date (March 2017) for launching the Brexit process, May’s administration has been quick to reassure workers that their rights will be protected in the transition.  May also announced this week that she’ll be reviewing regulations governing Britain’s growing gig economy.  Meanwhile, unions are calling on her to honor her campaign promise to put worker representatives on corporate boards.  The Financial Times has more.