Today's News & Commentary — December 11
The New York Times reports on the Buffalo Bill’s cheerleader’s continued fight for a decent wage and respect on the job. The Times that for most of the cheerleader’s work, they received “not a penny of wages, not from the subcontractor [that managed the team] and certainly not from the Buffalo Bills, a team that each year makes revenue in excess of $200 million.” We’ve covered the ongoing lawsuits over cheerleader wages and working conditions in a two–part explainer.
In labor news from Mexico, the Los Angeles Times has a four-part series on Mexican agricultural workers who supply most American produce. The series details the incredibly harsh conditions they live and work in, and often shockingly harsh treatment by employers. It quotes one worker who explains: “they treated us like slaves.”
In sports news, the Associated Press and Politico report that Michigan’s congress has taken steps to prevent college athletes at public universities from unionizing. A bill passed the Republican-controlled Michigan House along party lines, and will move to the also Republican-controlled Michigan Senate. The legislation is in response to the ongoing efforts to unionize football players at Northwestern university which we’ve previously covered.
The Los Angeles Times reports that district attorneys in L.A. and San Francisco have filed consumer protection lawsuits again Uber. The lawsuits allege the Uber “misleads consumers about the service’s safety, overcharges them and thumbs its nose at the law.” Prosecutors reached a settlement with Lyft over similar allegations. We’ve covered Uber and its workforce issues previously.
In political news, Streetsblog reports that the continuing resolution omnibus spending bill currently pending in Congress to avert a government shutdown could also roll back recently enacted rules limiting truck drivers’ hours. In 2011, the Department of Transportation began implementing a rule that essentially reduced the maximum number of drivers hours per week from 82 hours down to 70 hours. The rule is meant to reduce crashes in improve safety. The bill could repeal this rule.
Finally, the Detroit News reports that on Wednesday, the city emerged from bankruptcy proceedings. The elected leaders will take over, as the emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, steps down.