Today's News & Commentary — April 30, 2015

Published April 30th, 2015 -  - 04.30.1510


In California, the Los Angeles Times reports that El Super supermarket chain is accused of preventing workers from participating in a boycott and failing to negotiate with the employees’ union. The United Food and Commercial Workers represents approximately 600 store workers, and claims that the store has refused to negotiate over a new contract for over a year. The store is facing a complaint by the National Labor Relations Board alleging multiple unfair labor practices. The supermarket chain is also accused of firing Fermin Rodriguez, an employee who is a union leader.

Koch Industries, where the well-known conservative donor Charles Koch is CEO, will no longer ask job applicants about prior criminal convictions, USA Today reports. Over the last year there has been a nationwide effort to encourage cities and states to “ban the box,” that is, to forbid employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until the applicant reaches the interview stage. The goal is, as USA Today reports, to give those with a criminal record a chance to explain their record without being rejected too early in the hiring process. Charles Koch has been outspoken in his support for criminal-justice reform in the current election cycle.

The American Federation of Musicians has sued Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros, and MGM for breaching a 2010 collective bargaining agreement, the Los Angeles Times reports. The union and the defendants had a contract requiring that films produced in North America also be scored in North America. The union alleges that the defendants violated that agreement by outsourcing the scoring work in several movies, including the blockbuster Interstellar.

Politico reports that Democrats in the House and Senate are ready to endorse a $12 minimum wage. Senator Murray and Representative Scott will introduce a bill next week, however, it’s unlikely to pass.

In other political news, the Wall Street Journal reports that a Pew Research Center study found that more Americans view unions favorably than unfavorably. However, the Journal argues that political attacks by unions are likely to alienate and divide voters in the 2016, rather than help pro-worker candidates.

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