News & Commentary

August 28, 2014

The NLRB is considering another joint employer case. After the Board’s decision to treat McDonalds as a joint employer (which we covered extensively) the agency is inviting parties in a subcontracting case for input on whether it should reevaluate its joint employer standard. The Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 350, a Teamsters local union, has asked the NLRB to declare Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. and Leadpoint Business Services, a staffing agency, joint employers for the purpose of collective bargaining. The union says that, “the difficulties presented by this triangulated workforce structure has created a second-tier workforce of employees working for lower wages and fewer benefits than the standard employees performing the exact same work.” The Wall Street Journal calls the joint employer cases “the latest battle over the application of labor laws.”

In Boston, workers of the supermarket chain, Market Basket, have succeeded in reinstating the company’s former president, Arthur T. Demoulas, according to the New York Times. Demoulas’ cousin and allies have agreed to sell their stake in the company and Demoulas will be reinstated immediately. The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire intervened in the dispute after shoppers abandoned the store in solidarity with workers.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Teamsters Local 237 have come to a tentative agreement in a pay equity lawsuit, the New York Times reports. Under the city’s policy, special officers, who are largely male, are eligible to earn over $7,000 more annually than safety agents, who are overwhelmingly female. The proposed settlement raises the pay for both classes of employees and accelerates the salaries of agents whose pay fell behind officers.

The New York Times reports that significantly more women then men perform “green-collar work” on urban farms. Managers estimate that women hold from 60-80% of both salaried and volunteer positions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a strike by Lufthansa’s pilots appears “inevitable.” Employees of German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, are also contemplating a walkout, Reuters reports. .

The European Union is planning to increase border protections, according to the Wall Street Journal. The EU’s border patrol is currently coordinated by an agency called Frontex. The agency’s operations will be increased in Mediterranean countries like Italy, and all member states will be asked to provide boats, helicopters, and places for refugees.

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