News & Commentary

November 29, 2023

Linh Tang

Linh is a student at Harvard Law School.

On Tuesday, New York City’s comptroller announced during a Department of Labor event that a new international investor network has been established to call on companies to uphold workers’ rights. The network consists of investment service providers, asset managers and owners, whose initial goal is to develop more research supporting the thesis that respecting workers’ rights is a wise decision for investors in the long-run. The network also consists of some international members, such as the Swedish insurance company Folksam and UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum.

Workers at an Amazon Kentucky facility, its largest air hub in the world, filed a charge with the NLRB last week alleging that Amazon has been retaliating against them for trying to collect union authorization cards. Among other disciplinary actions, Amazon ordered workers to tear down a pro-union display outside the facility and threatened to terminate a dozen employees who had refused to follow the order. Workers provided audio and video recordings to Bloomberg Law, documenting manager’s warnings and workers’ resistance, citing free speech rights under federal labor law. This clash between management and pro-union workers at Amazon’s major facility is revitalizing the clash between the labor movement and the world’s largest e-commerce corporation, who spent more than $14.2m on union avoidance consultants in 2022 alone.

In international labor news, labor unions in the Czech Republic staged a day of protests and strikes on Monday to voice opposition to the government’s budget cut package aimed at addressing the national deficit. The newly approved package includes higher taxes on certain consumer products, higher corporate taxes, and cuts to the pension budget. In addition to protesting the new financial measures, protestors also marched to demand more funding for the education and healthcare systems nationwide. In response to the protest, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, head of the new government, defended that the budget cuts were “absolutely necessary” to address the country’s deficit.

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