Today's News and Commentary – March 10
The New York Times Editorial Board applauds recent steps taken by New York University and Columbia University to tighten their policies on unpaid internships to prevent exploitative arrangements. According to a report last year by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly half of the internships taken by college students in the class of 2013 were unpaid, and many likely violated federal labor guidelines requiring that unpaid internships at for-profit companies “must be for the benefit of the intern.”
The Washington Post reports on difficulties federal and state officials have encountered while trying to collect a $6 million judgment against Henry’s Turkey Services, a Texas company that was found guilty last year of discriminating against 32 mentally disabled workers. The verdict was the largest in the history of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The company has since filed for bankruptcy, and federal officials have only collected assets worth between $30,000 and $40,000.
About 330 detainees at an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Washington were on a hunger strike for better conditions as of Sunday afternoon, the L.A. Times reports. The hunger strike began on Friday. The detainees are seeking, among other improvements, an increase in the facility’s $1-a-day wages for work.
The New York Times continues its coverage on the large wildcat strike at an IBM factory in southern China that began last week when more than 1,000 workers walked off the job. According to the Times, this recent strike is the latest in a new wave of labor militancy in China, where a labor shortage has given workers more power, smartphones and social media have helped workers organize, and dissatisfaction among workers with the ineffective state-backed All-China Federation of Trade Unions is widespread.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has unveiled a new graphical tool Monday allowing users to study eight aspects of the labor market, including unemployment, employment, labor demand, hours, and wages.