Today’s News & Commentary—December 22, 2017

Published December 22nd, 2017 -  - 12.22.1718


Airline and airport workers are organizing and striking this holiday season.  Earlier this week, the European budget airline Ryanair agreed to recognize cabin crew and pilot unions who were threatening a strike.  Now, Ryanair is under investigation by at least two parliamentary committees for its treatment of workers, who have reported being charged fees for basics like uniforms and have alleged that the airline is skirting minimum wage laws.

Some food service workers at O’Hare walked off the job yesterday.  The workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 1, have been working on an expired contract since August and want their employer, HMSHost, to provide higher wages and more affordable heath care.

Meanwhile, Jet Blue flight attendants filed for a union election earlier this month.  Sarah Jaffe analyzes the organizing drive for the New Republic.  At Dissent‘s Belabored podcast, Jaffe and co-host Michelle Chen talked to Transportation Workers Union international president John Samuelson about the Jet Blue effort.

The Communication Workers of America and several workers sued several companies, including Amazon and T-Mobile,  in federal court in San Francisco for targeting employment ads on Facebook at only younger workers.  The suit alleges that the practices violated California age discrimination laws.  Experts speculate that the ads may also violate the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The Atlantic has a feature on the racial effects of automation, which builds on a recent Brookings Institution panel about building an inclusive workforce after digitalization.  The article predicts that Latinos will be hardest hit by automation, as robots are likely to spread first to dangerous jobs in which Latinos may be overrepresented.

In its December issue, Seattle Magazine profiles SEIU 775 and its president David Rolf, major forces behind Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law.

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