News & Commentary

April 24, 2017

Emily Miller

Emily Miller is a student at Harvard Law School.

The National Labor Relations Board has recommended that a new election be held for Harvard graduate students who sought to unionize last November, according to the Harvard Crimson.  The Board found that Harvard had not complied with requirements to provide a list of eligible voters, and that they may need to hold a new election if the results of a new vote count are not in favor of unionization.  Harvard maintains that the election held in November was fair.  The Board’s recommendation will be reviewed by Regional Director John J. Walsh Jr., who will issue a final decision on the matter.

Although North Carolina has been a right-to-work state since 1947, voters may soon be deciding on whether the policy belongs in the State constitution.  A new bill, which recently passed North Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee, would require a voter referendum on the issue in November, 2018, according to the News & Observer.  North Carolina is one of 28 right-to-work states.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority voted recently to require all companies that do business at Reagan National and Dulles International airports to pay contract workers at least $11.55 an hour starting next year.  The decision results from a two-year push to increase wages at the airports as part of the nationwide “Fight For $15,” and both SEIU and Unite Here helped negotiate for the contract workers.  The increase will help 4,500 workers at the airports who are responsible for cleaning terminals and plane cabins, moving bags, serving meals, and helping people with disabilities, reports the Washington Post.

A New York Times piece looks into the lives of workers on H-1B visas, permits aimed at highly-skilled workers which President Trump has recently called for new restrictions on.  One estimate shows that one in eight tech workers has an H1-B visa, and they account for 15% of the workforce at Facebook and Qualcomm.

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