Today’s News & Commentary — July 11, 2018
The NFL players union has filed a grievance against the league for its “Take a Knee” ban. In a statement, the NFL Players Association argued that the policy “is inconsistent with the collective agreement and infringes on player rights[.]” The NFL announced the policy, which requires players to either stand during the national anthem or wait in their locker rooms until game time, in May in an attempt to crack down on nearly two years’ worth of player protests against police brutality. OnLabor’s Ben Sachs and Sejal Singh have both previously written about how the NFL’s “Take a Knee” ban violates federal labor law.
Pilots for Allegiant Air have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the low-cost airline. The pilots are demanding that the airline fix a scheduling system that they claim is disruptive to their lives and does not take account of seniority or preferences. Teamster Local 1224, which represents the pilots, accused Allegiant of not fulfilling its obligations under the pilots’ August 2016 collective bargaining agreement. Allegiant responded by claiming that a strike would be illegal because “the issue would not constitute grounds for a legal work stoppage” under either federal statute or the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement.
Across the Atlantic, the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association strike against Ryanair seems to be having its intended effect. Ryanair announced that it will cancel up to 30 flights on Thursday as a result of the strike. Though the airline accused the union of “caus[ing] unnecessary disruption to customers and damage[ing] Ryanair’s low fare model[,]” it has also agreed to meet the union before Thursday’s planned strike. The parties are set to meet at Dublin Airport this morning.
In New Zealand, nurses plan to strike for the first time in 30 years after weeks of failed negotiations with the federal government. Over 30,000 nurses will go on strike this Thursday, disrupting health services across the country and forcing all non-urgent care to be rescheduled. The union had earlier rejected an offer of NZ $520 million (USD $356 million) to raise wages by 3 percent and hire more staff, calling it insufficient in light of a decade of severe underfunding and growing demand for health services. The government responded that it has inherited a budget crisis and cannot offer more. The nurses’ strike is just one among many actions by public sector workers: on Monday 4,000 employees of the inland revenue department and business ministry walked off the job, while primary school teachers plan to strike in August.