Today’s News & Commentary — June 15, 2018
A potential city of Anaheim living wage ordinance has reached a crucial milestone of support, and, if passed, would give Disneyland workers $18 an hour fixed to the cost of living, the Los Angeles Times reports. As OnLabor previously reported, the fight to better the working conditions of Disneyland workers has made headlines recently, with the Guardian publishing Senator Bernie Sanders’ impassioned call for solidarity with the struggling workers. A petition for the potential living wage ordinance received signatures of ten percent of the population of Anaheim; upon reaching that threshold, the Anaheim city council must either adopt the ordinance or put it on the ballot in November.
Tesla remains in hot water for poor treatment of its workers, as the Guardian reports that the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, hasn’t followed through on his promises to address injuries in the workplace. When the Guardian reported high injury rates at the company’s California factory in May, the CEO promised to “meet every injured person” in order to address the safety concerns. According to employees, not only has Musk not met with every injured worker, but his wild promises to investors leave workers overworked and at risk of those very injuries. As OnLabor previously reported, on Monday a former Tesla employee testified before the NLRB that the company stopped his union organizing efforts.
Labor market data released Thursday shows the number of jobless Americans is at its lowest in 18 years, Reuters reports. Despite the tight labor market, however, wage growth has been unable to keep up with inflation, with real wages for production and nonsupervisory workers falling .1 percent over the past year, Bloomberg reports. As OnLabor previously reported, the lack of wage growth casts doubt on a common complaint of members of the business community, that there are not enough skilled workers to fill open positions. All in all, Federal Reserve chair calls the lack of wage growth “puzzling,” Fox Business reports.
Federal prosecutors have accused top officials at Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union of conspiring to break U.S. labor laws, alleging that UAW leaders took bribes from Chrysler in exchange for less contentious labor negotiations, Reuters reports. A plea deal agreed to by Chrysler’s former director of employee relations, Michael Brown, states that Brown knew Chrysler executives authorized payments for travel, liquor, cigars and other goods for members of the UAW negotiating committee. Chrysler executives claim no knowledge of the misconduct prior to the federal investigation.