News & Commentary

September 9, 2022

Anita Alem

Anita Alem is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary: the Communication Workers of America reportedly blocked a tech watchdog report regarding Microsoft’s support for the United States military, Seattle school teachers enter their third day on strike, and California fast food employers have already begun organizing against the state’s new labor law.

The Intercept reported a labor official belonging to the UNI Global Union, a federation that includes the Communication Workers of America, stated the CWA has prevented a watchdog from publishing a report criticizing Microsoft’s role in supporting the United States military. According to the anonymous official, the UNI had initially commissioned the watchdog report. However, in June 2022, Microsoft and the CWA reached a neutrality agreement indicating that Microsoft will not oppose unionization efforts at Activision. As a result, the official said, the CWA could no longer pursue the report at risk of damaging its relationship with Microsoft. The CWA and the UNI have denied any knowledge of the report. 

School teachers in Seattle Public Schools are entering the third day of their strike, in a district with greater than 50,000 students and 6,000 union members. The union is demanding not only higher pay, but also improved mental health support for students and structural supports for special education students such as lower student-teacher ratios. The teachers’ strike is not legally protected, however, and the district could potentially seek penalties against the striking teachers. Negotiations are ongoing between the parties.

As Iman reported on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsome of California recently signed a bill to facilitate sectoral bargaining in the fast food industry to improve wages and benefits. However, employers have already begun organizing against the bill, titled the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act. The National Restaurant Association and the Franchise Association are seeking to fight the bill through a direct voter referendum in November 2024, and have begun collecting signatures for the petition. 

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