Today’s News & Commentary — August 26
The Wall Street Journal reports that Lufthansa has entered new talks with its pilots’ union, in an attempt to avert a strike. The union – Vereinigung Cockpit – objects to the airline’s plan to raise the early retirement age. If negotiations are unsuccessful, Lufthansa will face the fourth labor strike this year.
The New York Times highlights new academic research which suggests unemployment rate statistics have become less accurate over the last two decades, in part because of a rise in non-response. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, response rates for relevant polls were 36 percent in 1997 – by 2012, they had fallen to 9 percent.
Michigan’s new right-to-work law may face its first major test this week, as over 100,000 teachers finalize their decisions on whether or not to stay in their union. In August, a 31-day window began during which teachers could decide whether or not to stay in the state’s largest public-sector union. At the end of this month, the union will see what membership rolls look like when members voluntarily pay dues. The Huffington Post / AP reports.
The Department of Labor is under scrutiny for an alleged pattern of “frivolous spending.” The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is investigating more than half a million dollars in reported agency expenditures for informational elevator posters, “public relations contests” and book club promotion. The Hill reports.