Today’s News and Commentary – February 26

Published February 26th, 2014 -  - 02.26.142


According to Reuters, five Volkswagen workers have filed a petition asking to intervene in the United Auto Worker’s pending election objection before the National Labor Relations Board. The five Chattanooga workers argue that the UAW and Volkswagen colluded in the run up to the election.

Los Angeles County supervisors approved a contract deal with the Service Employees International Union Local 721, the largest public employee union in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, the contract includes a 6% raise over three years and an agreement to hire 450 new social workers to ease caseloads for the Department of Children and Family Services.

Yesterday marked the last National Labor Relations Board hearing date for the nascent College Athletes Players Association, which is attempting to represent and collectively bargain on behalf of Northwestern University’s football players on scholarship. The Players Association argues that playing football in exchange for scholarship constitutes a ‘condition of employment’ according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Washington Post profiles public sector pension concerns in San Jose, CA. The article details various legislative fixes to looming retirement cost expansion as well as attempts to create plans for more workers, including the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act, which would create a state-managed retirement savings plan for California’s private sector workers.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) opposes any minimum wage below $10.10 an hour. Senator Reid delayed a vote amid rumors that some Democratic politicians were inclined to compromise on the increase.

In international news, Reuters reports that Croatian public and private sector unions engaged in a two-hour strike across the nation in opposition to the ruling government’s proposed loosening of labor laws.

Between 15,000 and 40,000 labor union members rallied in Seoul, South Korea yesterday to protest the one-year anniversary of President Park Geun-Hye taking office. According to the Wall Street Journal, the protesters demands include rejecting a free-trade agreement with China and investigating the presidential elections from the previous year.

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of Greek dockworkers engaged in a 24-hour strike in Athens to protest the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority, the largest port in the country.

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