Today's News and Commentary- February 5

Published February 5th, 2014 -  - 02.05.14


According to The Hill, the NLRB has announced a new rule designed to speed up union elections.  The new regulation will allow union organizers access to worker emails and phone numbers, endorse electronic filing of petitions, and provide for a streamlined process for post-election appeals. A similar rule was struck down in 2012 because it had been adopted without a quorum, however this time a quorum of three board members voted in support.

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post discuss a Congressional Budget Office report released yesterday suggesting that the Affordable Care Act will “shrink the workforce by more than 2 million jobs.”  The reduction in the workforce will be attributed to people choosing not to enter the labor force, or choosing to work part time instead of full time.

According to the Washington Post, the AFL-CIO has asked President Obama to halt the deportation of 8 million undocumented immigrants.  The National Day Labor Organizing Network believes President Obama has the authority to unilaterally halt the deportations using a mechanism similar to the Administration’s deferred action program for undocumented children. The AFL-CIO argues that taking this step would strengthen President Obama’s negotiating position with Congress.

Following up on story we covered Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Center for Worker Freedom, a conservative advocacy group, is spending an undisclosed amount in a media campaign attempting to stop the United Auto Workers from successfully organizing Volkswagen’s  Chattanooga plant.

In New York news, the New York Times followed up yesterday’s editorial about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s upcoming public sector union negotiations with a report about a potential deal between the mayor and the United Federation of Teachers. The deal could include $3.4 million in back pay for the teachers, raising questions about how de Blasio will pay for his prekindergarten proposal and after-school initiatives.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) has become the first Congressperson to announce a bid to replace outgoing House Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member Rep. George Miller (D-CA).  According to Roll Call, some experts had predicted a battle between Scott and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) for the position, but Andrews’ resignation on Tuesday makes Scott the clear frontrunner.

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