News & Commentary

February 5, 2016

The New York Times highlights some recent endorsements picked up by Bernie Sanders. Although Sanders remains significantly behind Hillary Clinton in terms of big national union endorsements, on Thursday, he was able to obtain the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357.  The union, which is based in Las Vegas, is currently working to get its 4,000 members registered to vote and encouraging them to support Sanders.  Today, former NAACP president Benjamin T. Jealous is expected to appear in New Hampshire to publically endorse Sanders.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to a seasonally-adjusted 285,000.  In fact, claims have increased in 3 of the last 4 weeks, perhaps signalling a slow in the rate of expansion in the labor market.  Although jobless claims are usually a pretty good proxy for layoffs/new hires, the Department of Labor will be releasing more detailed information about January employment figures today.

A judge in Kentucky has struck down various right-to-work ordinances passed by more than a dozen Kentucky county governments, according to Politico.  The opinion invalidates local laws that freed non-union employees from the requirement of paying union dues to unions that bargain on their behalf.  Agreeing with the nine unions who sued to block the ordinances, the judge wrote that although the NLRA allows any “state or territory” to establish right-to-work laws, it does not permit such laws at the local level.

Finally, the New York Times brings to the forefront the NFL’s recent announcement that, in an effort to increase diversity in its upper leadership, the league plans to require that at least one woman be interviewed for any executive position openings.  Currently, women hold about 30% of the total positions at the league headquarters and 25% of the executive positions.

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