Today’s News and Commentary – March 28
Today’s news features continued coverage of the Chicago regional director of the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that football players at Northwestern University are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
In a series of articles, the New York Times evaluates the potential long term impact of unionization on college sports and suggests that the ruling reflects the nature of higher education as a commercial transaction between institutions and students. The Washington Post featured an article arguing that unionization shatters the myth that college athletes are not employees of their universities. The Editorial Board of the New York Times also came out in support of the ruling, stating that “college-sports establishment has brought this trouble on itself by not moving to address players’ legitimate grievances.” The Wall Street Journal features a story arguing that the ruling shines a spotlight on the Obama National Labor Relation’s Board pro-union stance as well as an article highlighting the difficulty of organizing a team whose bargaining unit is constantly graduating or moving on to the NFL.
In other news, more than 99% of the members of Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas voted yesterday to strike if bargaining with area casinos does not yield a contract, writes the Associated Press. According to OpenMediaBoston, members of Unite HERE Local 26 as well as university students picketed the Harvard-owned Double Tree Hotel in Allston, MA yesterday, demanding the University meet their demands for a fair unionization process.
In international news, the Associated Press reports that the union representing pilots of Germany’s Lufthansa airline have call for a three day strike next week in response to Lufthansa’s failure to make a “negotiable offer” in the course of two years of negotiations. The Wall Street Journal reports that Egyptian trade unions may form a counterbalance to the power of Abdel Fattah al Sisi.
In entertainment news, today marks the release of Cesar Chavez, a film depicting the rise of the United Farm Workers in California. The film concentrates on UFW co-founder Cesar Chavez and the union’s successful attempt to organize migrant farmworkers and win contracts with growers through mass protests and international boycotts during the 1960s and 70s. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe feature reviews.