News & Commentary

December 30, 2016

Vivian Dong

Vivian Dong is a student at Harvard Law School.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka published this week an op-ed in the New York Times criticizing President-Elect Trump’s claims to represent the interests of workers.  Mr. Trumka argues that unions, not the President-Elect, ought to possess the mantle when it comes to asserting worker rights.  He also casts suspicion on Trump’s sincerity when it comes to worker interests, pointing to Trump’s cabinet appointments and policy platform.

The Washington Post reports that some members of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s governing board are considering wage increases for some airport workers currently uncovered by MWAA’s living-wage policy.  Some airport workers contract directly with individual airlines, not the airports themselves, and therefore earn as little as $6 an hour.  Airport workers at Reagan National and Dulles International, airports operated under MWAA’s authority, have protested for better pay and benefits this year.  They are part of the broader Fight for Fifteen, which achieved victories for airport workers in New York, New Jersey, and Washington state.

President-Elect Trump announced on Wednesday that Sprint would re-shore 5,000 jobs to the United States after he had a call with the company’s top officers.  Sprint later clarified that the 5,000 jobs are part of a previously announced commitment by Sprint’s majority owner, the Japanese company SoftBank, to create 50,000 jobs in the United States through a $50 billion investment in the United States.  However, that previous announcement itself came after a meeting between SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and the President-Elect, who claims that Mr. Son told him he would not have made such an investment had Trump not won the election.

Two former employees of UFCW Local 135 are suing union president Mickey Kasparian for sexual harassment in two separate lawsuits.  UFCW and Mr. Kasparian deny all allegations from the plaintiffs.

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