Today's News and Commentary – April 15
The Wall Street Journal reports that Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro recently sent a “letter to all the presidents of NCAA Division I football schools” regarding the unionization efforts by members of the school’s football team. The letter notes that Northwestern is prepared to pursue its legal appeal of the regional NLRB ruling that players can unionize all the way to the Supreme Court, and asserts that Northwestern plans “’to fully exercise’ its right to campaign against the union.”
The Washington Post reports on a somewhat counterintuitive phenomenon: the manufacturing sector of the American economy is improving, but it is not generating more jobs or better pay for workers.
The Los Angeles Times reports that “SAG-AFTRA, the union representing about 165,000 actors and other performers, said it will begin negotiations with Hollywood’s major studios on a new film and television contract May 5.” Observers say these talks will be significant “as they mark the first time the union has bargained on a film and TV contract since SAG merged with its smaller rival union, AFTRA, two years ago.”
In other entertainment news, the Los Angeles Times also notes a new report from the Writers Guild of America, West that found “female film writers continue to lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to earnings and employment.” Specifically, “women remained underrepresented by a factor of more than 3 to 1 among screenwriters” and “earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by white male film writers in 2012, down from 82 cents in 2009.”
The New York Times reports that Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota signed into law an increase in the state’s minimum wage. “The law, which passed the Legislature with only Democratic votes, raises the wage to $9.50 by 2016 from $6.15 per hour.”
The Washington Post reports that Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown “picked up an endorsement of his gubernatorial bid” from “[t]he Community Hub for Opportunities in Construction Employment,” which “includes 28 unions that are part of the Washington D.C. Building and Construction Trades Council and the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council.” In supporting Brown, the coalition cited “his efforts to raise Maryland’s minimum wage, support for collective bargaining and work on public-private partnerships.”