News & Commentary

July 31, 2014

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the state’s 2011 law effectively ending collective bargaining rights for public employees, known as Act 10. Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Gableman said, “No matter the limitations or ‘burdens’ a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not a constitutional obligation.”

The NLRB’s decision to treat McDonalds as a joint employer “bewilders franchisors,” according to the New York Times. Labor experts predict that the decision may lay the foundation for an expansive ruling covering companies that use temporary agencies or subcontractors. Industry trade groups plan to ask federal courts to overturn the NLRB’s ruling.

The New York Times reports that city officials and union leaders are planning to encourage municipal workers to use walk-in clinics and buy generic drugs to cut healthcare costs. Labor agreements negotiated in the spring included wage increases in exchange for savings in healthcare.

The New York Metropolitan Opera has proposed bringing in federal mediators in response to the union’s proposal of switching to “nontraditional, less adversarial” form of bargaining, according to the New York Times. The company still intends to lockout employees if an agreement is not reached by midnight today.

A District Judge denied motions by unions representing New York police officers to intervene in the stop-and-frisk lawsuit filed against the NYPD and the city. The unions hoped to appeal last year’s ruling that stop and frisk is unconstitutional, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In immigration news, a new study finds that unaccompanied minors crossing the border are more likely to appear for their court hearings if they have an attorney. Represented minors are also more likely to receive asylum or some form of legal status. Less that one third of children with pending cases have representation, according to the Los Angeles Times. In Arizona, the Los Angeles Times reports that the mother of a Mexican teenager has filed a lawsuit in federal court. Her son was killed in Nogales, Mexico after at least one Border Patrol agent opened fire on the U.S. side of the border. The lawsuit raises questions about whether U.S. Constitutional protections extend to foreign individuals outside of the United States.

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