This Weekend's News and Commentary–October 19-20
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike continues. The Washington Post reports that Antonette Bryant, the president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 (ATU), will present management’s final contract offer to ATU members; nevertheless, she expects that they will vote to reject it. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle observes that the strike could have a negative, long-term impact on the public perception of unions (particularly transit unions). Finally, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times all report that a BART train returning from a routine maintenance trip hit and killed two workers conducting a track inspection on Saturday afternoon. The ATU said that it would not picket on Sunday out of respect for the victims and their families.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the annual cost of living adjustment for Social Security will likely increase benefits by about 1.5% in 2014. The Journal suggests that this increase is a “modest” one that “reflects low inflation and slow economic growth.” Earlier this week, CNN called the increase “very small,” and noted that in four of the past five years, Social Security recipients have “receive[d] little or no increase in benefits.”
In a Washington Post interview, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, discusses the recent government shutdown and its effects on government employees.
Finally, in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik expresses support for the CEO pay ratio rule recently proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The rule would require many large public companies to disclose the ratio of their CEO’s salary to their median worker’s salary.