Today’s News & Commentary — December 20, 2017

Published December 20th, 2017 -  - 12.20.1715


The House passed the GOP tax reform bill yesterday afternoon, but will have to vote on it again today to avoid potentially violating the Byrd Rule, which governs the types of legislation that can be passed under reconciliation. The Senate passed it last night on a party-line vote. Reuters has a good, simple run down of what made it into the final version.

Sharon Block details the NLRB’s December Massacre of Obama-era NLRB decisions here. She notes that “[i]n every one of the precedent-reversing cases, the Board split along political lines with the Republican majority having its way. The breadth of the carnage was unexpected in light of the fact that this majority has been together only since the end of September.” Mark Joseph Stern at Slate, also remarking on the NLRB’s past five decisions claims that, “[t]he Trump administration is engaged in a full-fledged legal assault on unions that’s poised to wreak havoc on collective bargaining.”

But the NLRB rejected Columbia University’s appeal and certified the graduate workers of Columbia union – which was organized by the UAW. Columbia graduate students voted for a union over a year ago. Earlier this month the NLRB also upheld a previous NLRB decision that the Harvard graduate student union vote was invalid. Harvard had previously appealed the decision but will now have to hold new elections, which could be as early as January 2018.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Uber is a taxi-cab business, not a technology/information business. The case arose out of Barcelona. “In its ruling, the ECJ said that a service whose purpose was ‘to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys’ must be classified as ‘a service in the field of transport’ in EU law.”

Following an announcement that it would meet with pilots’ unions in order to avoid a strike originally planned for today, Ryanair also announced that it would meet with cabin crew unions in the new year.

Happy New Year! Apparently 18 states and 20 cities will implement minimum wage increases on or around January 1, 2018.

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