Today’s News and Commentary — March 2nd, 2020
UNITE HERE has released a report describing the workplace conditions of airport Starbucks, operated by food service company HMS Host. The report concludes that an Orlando Starbucks employee, Gabriel Ocasio Mejias, was fired on February 18th in retaliation for union organizing. The report also notes that the median pay for black Starbucks workers was $1.85 less than white Starbucks workers. This report was based on survey responses collected from employees of 27 HMS Host airport locations between February and December 2019. HMS Host denies that Ocasio Mejias was fired for union organizing, and attributes the pay disparity to differences in the cost of living between the cities in which workers are employed.
Germany has ratified a new law aimed at facilitating the immigration of skilled workers. The new law expands the definition of “skilled worker” to include those who hold a vocational training certificate (i.e., rather than only those who possess a university or college degree, as was previously the case). Generally, non-EU applicants are permitted to work in Germany if they have been offered a work contract at a German company. The new law eliminates the requirement that non-EU citizens may only take a job if no EU citizen or German can take the job instead. Per the new law, accepting a job offer guarantees workers four years of residency status (or the duration of their contract). After four years, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency.