News & Commentary

May 26, 2023

Greg Volynsky

Greg Volynsky is a student at Harvard Law School.

In Today’s News & Commentary, the New York Times reaches an agreement with the NYT Guild, Governor Walz vetoes a ride-share workers’ protections bill, Bloomberg reports a slowdown at the DOL, and workers at a Barnes & Noble, a Chicago museum, and an REI vote to unionize.

On Tuesday, after two years of negotiations, the New York Times reached a tentative agreement with the NYT Guild. The Guild represents nearly 1,500 employees. Under the agreement, union members will receive an immediate raise between 10.6 and 12.5 percent, increasing the median annual salary of union members to approximately $160,000. The Guild called the agreement “groundbreaking” and an investment in the future of the New York Times. Members of the union will vote to decide whether to ratify the agreement. As I reported in March, NYT employees took to Twitter to lament the lack of a collective bargaining agreement with a cake which proclaimed, in icing: “NYT to Guild: Eat Cake!”

On Thursday, Tim Walz, the Democratic Governor of Minnesota, vetoed a bill that would have created protections for Uber and Lyft drivers. As Peter reported on Monday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill guaranteeing ride-share drivers a minimum wage and other protections. While Governor Walz expressed support for the bill’s objectives, he claimed the minimum wage would be too high, resulting in significant loss of business and high costs for consumers. Instead, Governor Walz issued an executive order to study potential protections for ride-share workers. Minneapolis City Councilors are moving forward with their own legislation in place of the bill the Governor vetoed.

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda has “slowed to a standstill” as the White House focuses on gaining support for Julie Su’s nomination to lead the Department. Since Su became Acting Secretary in March, the Department has neither proposed nor finalized any new regulations. The slowdown is most likely caused by an attempt to avoid controversy during the nomination process, delays in confirming other key Department leaders, and holdups at the Office of Management and Budget.

In the last several days, workers at Barnes & Noble in Hadley MA, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago IL, and REI in Durnham NC, voted to unionize.

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