News & Commentary

August 13, 2018

Martin Drake

Martin Drake is a student at Harvard Law School.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in Nebraska arrested 133 workers in one operation, the Washington Post reports.  The workers were taken at 8:45 a.m. in the small 3,700-person town of O’Niell, Nebraska.  The superintendent of the town’s public schools suspects that up to 100 children in her district may have had a relative or immediate family member taken in the raid.  The raid is part of a surge of employer audits and aggressive enforcement actions by the Trump administration.

The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board asserted on Sunday that the recent successful pro-union ballot measure in Missouri highlights the broad popularity of the labor movement.  The editorial points out the recent spate of pro-union activity in red states, including the successful teacher strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma, along with the Missouri ballot initiative, which overturned the state’s right-to-work legislation.  The editors also point out that, according to Gallup polling, public approval of labor unions is at 61 percent, its highest since 1963, and a Pew Survey shows that young people view unions more favorably than corporations.

A recent study shows that more than half of American workers are forfeiting their vacation days, CNN Money reports.  The study, produced by Project: Time Off, found that more than 200 million vacation days were left unused by workers in 2017, amounting to $62 billion in untapped worker benefits.  The study also showed that 24 percent of Americans have gone a year without vacation.  The majority of the employees surveyed said they were reluctant to take time off because their “workload is too heavy,” and they fear looking replaceable.

Finally, an AARP survey shows widespread age discrimination in the workplace, Forbes reports.  90 percent of those surveyed saw age discrimination as a common occurrence, and 61 percent say they have personally seen or experienced it.  Women are more likely than men to have experienced age discrimination, and over 75 percent of African-American respondents had seen or experienced age discrimination.  AARP surveyed 3,900 people age 45 and older for the study.

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