Today's News & Commentary — December 18

Published December 18th, 2014 -  - 12.18.142


An editorial in the Wall Street Journal discusses this Talking Points Memo regarding police unions’ reactions to the recent national backlash against police brutality. The author argues that the police should refrain from engaging in political controversies.

In California, an appeals court has overturned a lower’s court decision finding that exotic dancers were independent contractors and therefore prevented from pursuing a class action lawsuit. Politico reports that the lower court is to reassess its findings in light of a California Supreme Court decision addressing misclassification of workers. The named plaintiff, Stacy Salazar, is suing Victory Entertainment, Inc. for unpaid wages.

The New York Times will begin laying off union employees, the paper reports. The Times began offering voluntary buyout packages earlier this month. Labor reporter Steven Greenhouse accepted, and left the paper this week.

Strikes at the German sites of retail giant Amazon will continue, the Wall Street Journal reports. Verdi, a German labor union, wants Amazon staff to be part of the retail industry’s bargaining unit. Amazon designates these employees as logistics workers. The strike coincides with the busy holiday season, but Amazon says delivery schedules will continue reliably, according to the BBC

The New York Times has published the latest article in its “How I Do It” series. Terry Adcock, who lives with her daughter, her daughter’s fiancee, and her grandchild, describes her family’s financial struggles. Two of the adults in the house work and the family receives food stamps and WIC, but lack of money continues to be a “real strain on everything.” Relatedly, the Upshot reports that countries with the highest taxes and most generous welfare systems, like Scandinavian countries, also have some of the highest employment rates. A recent study suggests that providing direct aid to the working poor, such as subsidized childcare, sick leave, and public transportation, may effectively keep people in the labor force.

In immigration news, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Arizona cannot deny “Dreamers” driver’s license, the Los Angeles Times reports. President Obama’s first immigration-related order halted deportations of young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents. Many of these immigrants are now young adults, and need licenses to get to school and work.

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