Today’s News and Commentary – July 18
The LA Times Editorial Board reports that LA city employee unions will not get their demanded raises for the foreseeable future. The city has been trying to eliminate an ongoing deficit by 2018 even as city employees had been furloughed and denied raises during the recession. Last week, police officers rejected a one-year contract that allowed for an increase in cash overtime payments but no cost-of-living for most officers. Representatives of the LA Police Protective League characterized the contract as “a slap in the face.” The city is also actively negotiating with the firefighters and civilian employee unions.
Growing awareness around the harm of unpredictable part-time work has led politicians to push for more reliable schedules for part-time employees. Many part-time employees are not unionized, and as unions themselves have grown weaker, employers have increasingly relied on volatile scheduling and part-time workers. So far Vermont and San Francisco have passed laws that allow employees to request flexible or predictable schedules. These laws benefit all part-time workers, especially ones who might need to take care of young children or elderly parents. In June, President Obama directed all federal agencies to give this “right to request” to their employees.
Immigration news, activist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas was released from detention earlier this week. Vargas had been detained by Customs and Border Patrol agents along the Texas border for traveling without a U.S. visa in his Filipino passport. Vargas now has approximately 15 days to appear before an immigration judge pursuant to a notice to appear.
According to The World Street Journal, there is “no way” that Congress will be able to pass President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to mitigate the border crisis. Both the House and Congress will likely take their usual August recess in the next 11 days. Democrats and Republicans aggressively disagree as to the parameters of the budget request, while detention centers and localities across the nation are near breaking point in housing a record-setting number of migrants, especially unaccompanied minors.