Daily News & Commentary – October 23, 2017

Published October 23rd, 2017 -  - 10.23.175


The AFL-CIO re-elected Richard Trumka for a third term as the labor federation’s president last night at a national convention in St. Louis, MO.  Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre were also re-elected. The three, who together form the trio at the helm of the union’s leadership, ran unopposed.  The union faces grim political circumstances, with a new pro-management NLRB, and the Supreme Court poised to ban mandatory public-sector union fees in Janus later this year.  Nonetheless, Trumka promised that “whether it’s political action, legislation, or collective bargaining, you’re going to see a unity from the labor movement that you haven’t seen in decades.”

European Union states failed to reach an agreement yesterday on reforms to the bloc’s rules on the “posting of workers.”  A “posted worker” is “an employee who is sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis.” Under current law, posted workers enjoy a set of core rights in their host Member State in addition to the employment and labor rights available in the state from which they are sent.  Poland is the primary origin country of posted workers.  In the ongoing talks, wealthier EU member states, led by French Prime Minister Macron, want to minimize the use of posted workers and decrease the obligations that host countries owe to posted workers.

Guy Standing, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and co-founder at the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), has a post up at Working-Class Perspectives defending basic income as a social necessity in light of workers’ increasingly precarious ties to their jobs.

The New York Times published an article today on how internet retailers are hiring warehouse workers in areas blighted by the loss of manufacturing jobs.  Retailers like Amazon, Zulily, and Walmart, who often sell similar products, must compete on the speed and reliability of their shipping to get a competitive edge.  This has led to significant investments in their distribution networks, including the building of warehouses nearby key hubs of customers.

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