Today’s News and Commentary – January 8

Published January 8th, 2014 -  - 01.08.1410


The Senate—with the support of six Republicans—voted yesterday to extend emergency unemployment benefits for 3 months.  The Editorial Board of the Washington Post offers its thoughts on the economic implications of the extension, which comes at a cost of $6.5 billion.

The New York Times is reporting that the Big 3 US automakers have announced tentative plans to introduce profit sharing with their hourly workers.  Industry experts believe the automakers will distribute around $17,000 per worker.  Further coverage provided by The Detroit News.

Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal offers commentary on Boeing’s recently concluded contract negotiations with its Seattle-area unionized workforce.  He maintains that one reason for the union’s concessions is that “just about every elected Democrat and other official in the state of Washington essentially demanded that the union . . . accept Boeing’s terms.”  This political posture, Jenkins argues, stemmed partly from a desire to avoid a repeat of Detroit in the Pacific Northwest.

A group of international retailers have condemned the Cambodian government’s violent quelling of a labor action in the garment industry.  As the Wall Street Journal notes, the retailers—including familiar names like H&M, the Gap, and Adidas—expressed “great concern” via open letter about “the government’s use of deadly force” against striking workers.

Tensions flared yesterday at a Goodyear factory slated to close in France.  As negotiations to prevent plant’s closure—and save 1,200 jobs—broke down, employees kidnapped the factory bosses and demanded sizable severance payments for their safe return.  The New York Times explains that this troubling tactic “was used several years ago at a number of multinational companies’ French operations, [and] is unlikely to allay the concerns of multinationals about France as a place to do business.” 

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