Today’s News and Commentary — October 9

Published October 9th, 2013 -  - 10.09.133


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a new report detailing the initial results of a survey on job skills across 24 countries. According to the New York Times, the report revealed that U.S. workers are falling “dangerously behind” its peers, particularly in math. The report contributes to the ongoing debate over the existence of a job skills shortage in the U.S., a frequent contention of U.S. employers.

Thousands of demonstrators rallied at the National Mall calling for “broad immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.” The New York Times, L.A. Times and others report that eight congressmen, all Democrats, were among the 200 people arrested, including labor leaders and immigration advocates, when they stood or sat in the street in front of the Capitol following the rally. Several Republican congressmen also attended the rally.

 Lights, camera, vote. The L.A. Times reports that members of Teamsters Local 399 are casting ballots to elect their secretary-treasurer after “an unusually close and deeply divisive election.” Teamsters Local 399 represents “4,500 studio transportation coordinators, location managers, casting directors, animal wranglers and drivers who haul stars, props and equipment to film and TV sets.”

Also in California, the L.A. Times reports that major sports leagues, such as the NFL and Major League Baseball, and workers’ compensation insurers claimed a legislative victory yesterday as California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that limits the eligibility of out-of-state professional athletes to file workers’ compensation claims in the state.

 In international news, the New York Times reports that 70,000 teachers in the Mexican state of Oaxaca ended a seven week strike, returning to Oaxaca from Mexico City after an unsuccessful attempt to get the national Congress to repeal recent education laws. The teachers plan to continue their campaign against the laws at home, however, taking advantage of Oaxaca’s geographic isolation to resist implementation of the laws. The Times also reports that in India, “striking workers shut off electricity and cellphone service to a large section of the southern … state of Andhra Pradesh” to protest the announcement by India’s governing coalition to divide the state into two. The plan still needs to be approved by the state assembly and passed by both houses of Parliament before it goes into effect.

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