Today’s News & Commentary — February 5, 2018

Published February 5th, 2018 -  - 02.05.1815


Less than two years after having finally been recognized as the inspiration for J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We Can Do It!” World War II poster, Naomi Parker Fraley–the “true” Rosie the Riveter–died at age 96 on January 20.  Fraley, long a feminist icon (albeit unwittingly), worked at a Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA as a twenty-year-old after the Pearl Harbor attack.  According to Professor James J. Kimble of Seton Hall University, who researched the matter from 2010 to 2016, a 1942 photograph of Mrs. Fraley at the Alameda Naval Air Station could have been the true inspiration for the iconic poster.  Until 2016, Geraldine Hoff Doyle’s good-faith claim to be the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter was widely accepted.

Sunday afternoon, the Major League Baseball Players Association denounced rumors that some players may boycott spring trainingPlayers and agents have been unhappy with a slow free-agent market this year, in which top players such as World-Series-champion Jake Arrieta and All-Stars Yu Darvish and J.D. Martinez remain unsigned.  On Friday, “Super-Agent” Brodie Van Wagenen, the Co-Head of Baseball for CAA, may have catalyzed this rumor via Twitter when he suggested both that owners may be colluding and that a “boycott of Spring Training may be a starting point, if behavior doesn’t change.”  Given that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA remains valid through 2021, a spring-training boycott would likely be a violation of national labor laws.  

On Thursday, NBC News interviewed AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka about immigration.  Trumka pushed back on President Trump’s talking points from Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, stating that organized labor has “a moral obligation to help [undocumented] workers.”  In 2013, Trumka played a key role in getting an immigration-reform bill approved by the Senate.

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