Today’s News & Commentary — January 30, 2018

Published January 30th, 2018 -  - 01.30.188


In the wake of many, serious allegations against casino mogul Steve Wynn, casino worker Brittany Bronson uses a New York Times op-ed to shine a bright light on wealth inequality and sexual abuse at work.  Bronson analogizes the confidentiality required in a high-value sexual assault settlement to the silence with which many low-wage women endure workplace abuse to protect their paychecks.  “Without ensuring that all women have a living wage and the right to unionize — things that provide the security an employee needs before she even thinks about reporting misconduct — we will never end the problem.”

“The Los Angeles Times is like a Soviet circus right now.”  Fears are forceful as reporters notice that several new managers have been hired but not introduced to staff.  Reporters weren’t invited to apply for those positions, which are on the business (not editorial) side of the company, and which are associated with the just-created entity Los Angeles Times Network, LLC.  These and other ominous changes come about 10 days after the newspaper voted to join NewsGuild-CWA.  With the union demanding transparency, the Huffington Post suggests that the L.A. Times’ parent company Tronc may be trying to reorganize into non-union, nation-wide teams that would cut the legs out from under the L.A. Times newsroom.

Rather than join ongoing efforts to lure Amazon’s HQ2 to Boston, public radio station WBUR suggests that the city clarify its commitment to worker protections in case Amazon expands its presence in Boston.  This suggestion derives from physically brutal conditions in Amazon warehouses and interpersonally brutal conditions in Amazon offices.  WBUR also relays a more ambitious idea from Zaid Jilani at The Intercept: the 20 cities on Amazon’s short list should bargain collectively with Amazon rather than racing to the bottom with inducements.

After two job interviews with the Israeli company M. Dizengoff & Co., Israeli Attorney Naomi Moskowitz Skortzky received an email asking if she could handle the demands of the job while raising her two children.  Ms. Skortzky said yes.  She encountered similar questions and comments in her third interview, accentuated by references to her perceived religious orthodoxy and its bearing on maternity.  Ms. Skortzky was then denied the job.  In her legal challenge, captioned as M. Dizengoff & Co v. Naomi Moskowitz Skortzky, the Israeli National Labor Court upheld a finding of wrongful discrimination and a damage award of 50,000 NIS (about 14,700 USD).  The Labour Law Blog, launched by Hebrew University Professor Guy Davidov, reports.

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