Today's News and Commentary – May 6
The Wall Street Journal reports on “high-stakes negotiations” between the Metropolitan Opera and the singer’s union, including management filing an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB “even before across-the-table talks begin.” The Opera “is seeking to cut pay for members of the three biggest unions by more than 16%.”
The New York Times reports that a federal judge approved “a document that cleared the way for tens of thousands of Detroit’s retirees, employees and bondholders to begin receiving ballots on the city’s plan for rebuilding and shrinking its debt.” The Times notes, however, that the agreements reached so far do not include “settlements with the Detroit Fire Fighters Association and the city’s largest union of police officers.”
In international news, the New York Times reports on “the growing might of Chinese workers amid a shrinking labor pool, a slowing economy and the Communist Party’s fears of social unrest,” as well as “the increasing potency of social media despite the government’s best efforts to limit news and information that might inspire workers to stand up to employers who can fire troublemakers at will — or call on the police to jail labor organizers.”
The Washington Post reports that the “Missouri state Senate was shut down temporarily Tuesday by a group of protesters demanding the state expand Medicaid under Obamacare.” The Post notes that “Missouri is one of more than 20 states that has chosen not to expand low-income assistance to the poor under the program.”
Finally, Danny Westneat writes in the Seattle Times that private sector unions, rather than continuing to shrink, are being reinvigorated by city-by-city efforts to raise pay for workers, noting that “the idea is to wage broader, public-spirited campaigns like the $15 wage fight” and then channel that leverage “to bring the national brands to the bargaining table” on a broader level.