Today’s News & Commentary — October 17, 2016

Eleven striking Harvard dining hall workers will appear in court today after being arrested on Friday for blocking traffic during their protest, according to the Harvard Crimson. The workers, which included the president and lead negotiator of their union UNITE HERE Local 26, were to be charged with disorderly conduct. This protest and arrest was discussed ahead of time by the demonstrators and the Cambridge Police Department. In covering the arrest, the Guardian features interviews from Harvard dining hall workers who recently became homeless or had to borrow money to buy diapers, highlighting the real impact of their current wages.

In colleges on the other side of the country: 7 in 10 University of California clerical, administrative, and support workers struggle to put food on the table, says a new study by Occidental College released today. Reported on by the Los Angeles Times, the study found that nearly half these workers—most of whom were college educated, full time, and received $22 per hour—still went hungry at times. The study also found racial and gender disparities when it comes to food insecurity. This comes on the heels of another study that found 42% of UC students didn’t have access to high quality, nutritious food, leading the UC system to announce a multi-million-dollar effort to fix the problem.

A Washington Post columnist puzzles through the fact that two federal employee unions, the National Border Patrol Council and the National ICE Council, support Donald Trump, despite the two unions’ parent organizations’ (the American Federation of Government Employees and the AFL-CIO) support of Hillary Clinton. The unions, which represent border patrol employees, are attracted to Trump’s rhetoric on border security and are displeased with the Obama administration.

Recent research described in the Harvard Business Review found that employees donate three times more money to political campaigns supported by their CEOs. The study analyzed the reported ($200+) contributions by 3,861 CEOs and 162,162 employees of 2,181 companies, from 1999 to 2014. Was this trend due to similar political environments? Or did the CEOs have direct influence? The study focused in on instances when CEOs turned over and donated to different political candidates, and, lo and behold, employees switched their donations to the candidate their new CEO was supporting.