Today’s News and Commentary — February 17th, 2016
United planes weren’t flying the friendly skies today—at least in terms of labor relations. A majority of the 9,000 mechanics at United Continental Holdings Inc. voted to reject a new labor contract. The Teamsters members turned down the six-and-a-half year deal, which would have increased salaries for top mechanics but created a “B-scale” with different wages and days off for mechanics hired after the contract went into effect. The United mechanics are in good company. According to the Wall Street Journal, pilots at Delta and flight attendants at Southwest also rejected proposals in the last year.
Almost 50 carwash workers in Brooklyn voted to unionize, becoming the largest union in the industry nationwide. SLS Car Wash is the 11th carwash to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, reports New York Daily News. The carwasheros seek a contract with minimum wages, tips, overtime, fair scheduling, paid personal days ad other protections—a far cry from the 80-hour weeks and exposure to dangerous chemicals they endured before the union.
Reporters continue to hypothesize about the future for organized labor without Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. Charlotte Garden at the Atlantic forecasts the Friedrichs decision, and Justin Miller at the American Prospect imagines how Friedrichs will affect other anti-union cases. Politico asks if organized labor will like President Obama’s next nominee, especially if he chooses frontrunner Sri Srinivasan. But Labor is unlikely to affect the nomination, given the president’s past willingness to break from unions on other major issues.