News & Commentary

January 21, 2014

In light of the upcoming oral arguments in Harris v. Quinn, the Los Angeles Times and NPR review the context surrounding this First Amendment challenge to the collection of mandatory union dues. The Los Angeles Times quotes Professor Sachs as observing that it would be radical for the Court to invalidate fair share fees under the constitution, and noting the parallel between the union dues cases and the Court’s bar association precedent. The Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune offer their opinions of the case, while labor attorney Moshe Marvit discusses his take in the Washington Post. An OnLabor summary of Harris v. Quinn can be found here.

According to the Wall Street Journalthe United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) has released a report predicting a rise in international unemployment figures over the next two years despite global economic recovery.  The ILO expects that young people and workers in Asia will be particularly hard hit, while unemployment is expected to stay about the same in the European Union and fall in the United States.

The American Federation of Government Employees is concerned that a measure in the federal appropriations bill passed last week will privatize airport-screening, the Washington Post reports. The union explains that while there are currently 48,000 TSA screeners, the bill caps federal funding to only 46,000 employees

The New York Times reports that yesterday Police arrested Rep. Charles Rangle (D-NY) and 31 other people marching at La Guardia Airport in support of airport contract workers’ efforts to get a paid holiday on Martin Luther King Day. The march was part of a larger SEIU 32BJ campaign to improve wages and benefits for airport contract workers.

Meanwhile, the New York Times Editorial Board takes issue with the $16 billion allocated for immigration enforcement in the House appropriations bill that passed last week. The Board writes “Millions of Americans can’t find work and have lost their unemployment benefits because Congressional Republicans insist the government can’t afford to help them. But there is no shortage of money when it comes to hunting down unauthorized immigrants.”

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