News & Commentary

August 23, 2023

Peter Morgan

Peter Morgan is a student at Harvard Law School.

For the first time, the United States has requested a Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. A committee chaired by the United States Trade Representative (Katherine Tai) and the Secretary of Labor (Julie Su, acting) had sent a petition to Mexico to review allegations that the Grupo Mexico had violated the labor rights of its workers at the San Martin mine. Since Mexico’s finding that Grupo Mexico had not committed such a violation, the US has now requested an RRM panel to review these abuses.

Following a slew of other successful graduate student union campaigns,  graduate students at Duke University voted 1,000 to 131 to unionize. After a failed unionization campaign among the grad students in 2017, the Duke University Student Union won this election on a platform of stipend increases, improved benefits, and greater support for international students.

After a highly publicized negotiation process, the UPS Teamsters finally ratified their new collective bargaining agreement. Of the record 58% of union members who cast a ballot, 86% of members voted in favor of ratifying the five-year contract. The deal boasts a pay raise of up to $7.50 an hour, in-truck air conditioning, higher floors for part-time pay, and new restrictions on forced overtime.

Regional NLRB officials have filed a complaint against Amazon alleging the company had, at their warehouse in Albany, NY, fired a union organizer for protected activity, chilled worker speech, and harassing union advocates by calling the police against employees on them. The Albany warehouse had been the site of the Amazon Labor Union’s second major organizing campaign, and the alleged violations had occurred during that campaign.

Efforts to provide protections to Uber and Lyft drivers in Minnesota have hit another obstacle as Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey vetoed the city council’s plan to raise pay and increase transparency for gig drivers.  Frey’s veto follows Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s veto of similar measures on a state-wide bill, citing concerns of unintended consequences for riders.

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