Today’s News and Commentary — February 27
The New York City Council passed a bill to expand paid sick leave on Wednesday, the New York Times reports. The bill requires “businesses with five or more employees to provide up to five paid days off a year if the employees or their relatives become ill.” This bill expands upon a law enacted only last year, yet to go into effect, which would have imposed the same requirements but only on businesses with fifteen or more employees.
The Washington Post’s GovBeat blog reports that “Four southwestern states are in the running to land a new multi-billion dollar factory producing batteries for electric cars, a competition that could bring more than 6,000 jobs to the winner.” The four states, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, will likely offer “packages of tax incentives and rebates” to encourage the company to select a site in their state. The Wall Street Journal also covers the story.
The New York Times New Old Age blog reports on a looming shortage in caregivers. The post discusses last year’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’s employment projections which show that “1.3 million new paid caregivers will be needed to meet demand over the next decade.” Unfortunately, this surge in demand is not expected to be matched by a surge in supply of workers interested in filling these jobs, in part because of the unlikelihood that Medicaid and Medicare would increase payments to these workers, and the inability of individual families to afford these services. The post discusses possible solutions to the problem, including making these jobs more attractive to workers through higher pay and benefits, relying on immigrants to fill these jobs, training family members to become paid caregivers, and encouraging retired nurses and social workers to take on caregiving as part-time work.
The Huffington Post reports on allegations by the United Food and Commercial Workers union that a medical marijuana company in Maine is committing unfair labor practices. The NLRB “notified the company that it found merit in some of the claims and will pursue a complaint if the company can’t hash out a settlement with the union.”
The New York Times Dealbook blog reports on a new report finding that “while both men and women say there are not enough women in positions of power in the workplace, a majority of respondents still preferred to cast men in prominent jobs.”
In international news, Australian airline Qantas announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs (15% of its workforce), the New York Times reports, as part of a plan to cut $1.8 billion in costs over the next three years. The move was also reported by the Washington Post, Reuters, and CNN, among others.