Today’s News and Commentary – July 9

Published July 10th, 2014 -  - 07.10.14


Prof. Sachs and Prof. Catherine Fisk have an op-ed in the LA Times about the aftermath of Harris v. Quinn. To escape the double bind created by mandatory exclusive representation by unions, even of workers who do not want the union, the authors propose that “unions should not be required to represent workers who do not want, and who decline to pay for, such representation.”

MSNBC reports on the significance of the ongoing port truckers strike in California. According to the article, “port truckers in Long Beach and Los Angeles are on strike in large part because the firms they work for have classified them as independent contractors instead of employees. According to the striking drivers, this amounts to illegal misclassification, and an attempt to dodge the legal obligations that businesses have toward their employees.” The drivers are hardly alone: research suggests that 1-2% of the American workforce could be misclassified. The strike is also significant because it could affect the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s effort to negotiate a new contract. While “LWU members are still at work and have no plans to strike, a group of dock workers opted to vacate their posts on Tuesday morning, in solidarity with the striking port truckers. They returned to work after being ordered to do so by a federal arbitrator.”

The Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal are featuring blog posts highlighting the difficulty that American teens are having in finding summer jobs. The WSJ article reports that “teen hires are down 12% for the summer so far compared to last year.” This matters because “recent research indicates that the summer unemployed might be losing ground to their working peers. A recent study found that teens who work evenings or summers are more likely to find better jobs and earn more money down the line.” This is because almost any job will “allow teens to get acquainted with the working world and to expand their networks,” both top indicators of future success.

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