Today’s News and Commentary – April 30
With the prospect of a congressional raise in worker wage floors dimming, the White House and labor groups are shifting their efforts to the state and local level. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “States and cities setting their own pay standards has become the clearest path to spread minimum-wage increases at a time of deep division over the issue in Congress.”
British public servants are catching heat over the privatization process of Britain’s Royal Mail. The New York Times explains that critics are claiming the newly public company’s IPO undervalued the postal service, and left over a billion dollars on the table.
The board of French conglomerate Alsom SA has accepted a bid by General Electric for Alsom’s power-generation and transmission business. As the Journal notes, the potential deal is politically sensitive, with French President Francois Hollande expressing concern over the impact a transaction would have on French workers. GE has been arguing that it has been a longtime investor in France, where the company currently employs 10,000 workers.
A flurry of M&A activity in the pharmaceutical industry, headlined by Pfizer’s nearly $100 billion dollar bid for the UKs AstraZeneca PLC, has pharmaceutical employees worried over potential layoffs. As the Journal notes, Pfizer alone has eliminated more than 56,000 jobs globally since 2005.