Today’s News and Commentary – October 4
Backpay for federal workers furloughed by the government shutdown has been proposed in legislation introduced in both the House and Senate, reports the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the New York Times reveals that while federal workers are off the job, the monthly jobs report itself, usually published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will not be released today.
The Washington Post reports that raising the minimum wage is on the fall agenda for the D.C. Council, as part of a regional effort to increase wages.
The Wall Street Journal sheds light on the problems of monitoring labor conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories. Although worksites have rules to protect workers, enforcement of the rules is problematic, and while safety has improved there are ongoing widespread violations of wage and overtime laws. The Journal also reports that a group of 90 clothing retailers have released the details of the 1500 garment factories they use in Bangladesh, in an effort to improve standards by making the supply chain more transparent.
Soccer’s world governing body is calling for minimum labor standards for World Cup construction projects, according to the New York Times. FIFA Vice-President Ali bin al-Hussein made the comment after controversy over the treatment of workers in Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup.
A new study shows that nearly 40% of American workers hold occupations where they need or will need government licensing or approval, the Washington Post reports. According to one of the study’s authors, such licensing “is a new form of unionism” in that it can drive up both wages and the quality of workers in a given industry.