Today’s News & Commentary — February 16, 2018

Published February 16th, 2018 -  - 02.16.186

Yesterday, the Senate rejected a White House immigration proposal that would have increased border security, placed new limits on legal migration like family-based immigration and the diversity visa lottery program, and provided a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers.  The Senate also rejected two other immigration measures.

Also yesterday, AirBnb cafeteria workers ratified a contract with the United Automobile Workers (UAW), part of the trend toward unionization among tech companies’ sub-contracted workers.  “Every worker should be treated with dignity and justice,” Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s global head of policy and public affairs, said in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon.  “Airbnb has great respect for the labor movement, and we are glad to have UAW represent workers who provide services to our employees.”

The University of Chicago’s graduate student workers, who voted to unionize in October, have decided against continuing with the NLRB process.  The union—Graduate Students United—will continue to try to bargain without the NLRB, as it was concerned that a ruling from the GOP-controlled NLRB could set a legal precedent that is unfavorable to graduate workers.

On Wednesday, 18 men who worked for New York & Atlantic Railway between 2010 and 2016 filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accusing the railway, its parent company, Anacostia Rail Holdings Company, and three officials of discriminating against and underpaying employees who they believed to be immigrants.  The suit seeks class-action certification and a declaration that the defendants violated New York City’s Human Rights Law, New York State labor laws, and the Federal Employers Liability Act.

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