Today’s News & Commentary — August 4, 2016

Published August 4th, 2016 -  - 08.04.162


Yesterday, the Editorial Board of the New York Times urged President Obama to do even more to ensure that government contractors are model employers.  These standards include “paying a living wage, providing benefits and letting workers form unions without reprisal.”  The editorial acknowledges that President Obama has raised standards for federal contractors by requiring federal workers earn a minimum hourly wage of $10.10 and by mandating that the federal government evaluate contractors’ history of labor violations when awarding new contracts.  The editorial also highlighted Senate cafeteria workers who were recently awarded $1 million in back pay after being illegally underpaid.  Read more about the Senate cafeteria workers’ award here at OnLabor.

The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has condemned Donald Trump’s company’s outsourcing practices in an attempt to undercut Trump’s support from the white working class. She argues Trump has benefitted from the same outsourcing practices he blames for the loss of American jobs.  In a speech yesterday afternoon, she said, “‘what kind of man does business by hurting other people? I am just so determined that we are not going to let him do to America what he has done to small business.’”  Many of the Trump branded neckties, shirts, and suits are manufactured abroad.

In international labor news, Saudi Arabia has promised to help more than 6,200 Indian workers formerly employed by Saudi Oger, a construction company owned by Saad al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, and his family.  Indian officials claim that Saudi Oger has failed to pay its workers for months leaving them stranded without pay or food. The Saudi government has said that it would continue to enforce worker claims against the company even if the workers do not remain in Saudi Arabia.  A dip in oil prices has precipitated the state spending slowdown in construction in Saudi Arabia.

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