Today's News and Commentary — July 17
The Wall Street Journal reports that the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has converted over 21,000 home healthcare workers to membership status this year. These numbers are part of AFSCME’s larger effort, the 50,000 stronger campaign, to grow its membership. The union surpassed its goal, converting 91,000 represented workers in total to full-fledged members. 900 member volunteers helped the campaign by speaking with workers about the benefits of union membership.
In New York, state officials and the union for Long Island Rail Road employees have reached a deal, averting a strike planned to begin on Sunday. The New York Times reports that under the compromise L.I.R.R. employees will receive a 17% raise over six and a half years. Before the agreement was reached, the New York Times published an analysis of the situation.
In Chicago, popular Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, announced that she will not run for for mayor. Her decision left an opening for current mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s “biggest scourge,” Chicago Teacher Union’s President Karen Lewis, to challenge him in next year’s race, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Chicago Tribune reports that Lewis is forming an exploratory committee to consider a potential run.
In immigration news, the New York Times reports that the influx of Central American minors crossing the border is overtaking President Obama’s plans for immigration reform. In several towns, federal officials have scrapped proposed shelter sites due to local opposition.