News & Commentary

June 18, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has asked a federal judge “to end 25 years of strict oversight intended to root out corruption and alleged Mafia influence in the union’s highest ranks.”  Following a racketeering lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 1988, the union entered into a consent decree providing for federal supervision.  But now, according to a union spokesman, the “effort to rid the union of organized crime has been successful, and it’s time to move on.”  Not all members feel the same way, however; a rank-and-file group called the Teamsters for a Democratic Union is opposing the effort, claiming that while the Teamsters “has made progress…it is not yet a stable and reliable democracy.”

The Huffington Post reports that the SEIU Local 500 has filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting a union election at Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog.  Media Matters, which had previously been accused of obstructing the unionization effort, has pledged to remain neutral.  According to the Post, “[p]ro-union employees applauded management’s neutral stance, declaring it consistent with the group’s progressive ethos.”

Following similar disclosures by Google late last month and LinkedIn last week, Yahoo today released information about the demographics of its workforce, according to USA Today, becoming “the latest Silicon Valley company to reveal the stark lack of diversity in its ranks.”  Nearly 90 percent of the company’s workers are white or Asian; only 6 percent are black or Hispanic.  Moreover, only 37 percent of the company’s workers—and 23 percent of its senior managers—are women.

The New York Times reports that the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border with Mexico illegally in recent months has led to a “stunning rise” in those seeking help from immigrant advocacy groups in New York.  Faced with overwhelming demand, many such groups are now being forced to triage, “pick[ing] their cases carefully, [and] focusing on those that ha[ve] the best chance of success.”

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