Today’s News & Commentary — June 27
The Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning yesterday affirmed the D.C. Circuit, finding that the President had exceeded his authority in 2012 when appointing three people to the National Labor Relations Board. During the 18 months that two of the three now-invalid appointees were seated, the NLRB decided 436 cases. The current board must now decide whether or not to protectively redo those rulings to shield them from challenges – if they do, the agency could be backlogged for months. At the Washington Post, Michael Fletcher has argued that “little is likely to change because those decisions are almost certain to be reaffirmed by the current board.” The Wall Street Journal reports, noting that in 2010, the labor board faced a similar decision that left nearly 600 cases in limbo. In the end, most of those cases were not brought back to the board.
Earlier this month, the International Labor Organization ratified a new treaty addressing forced labor, creating rules for governments and employers on prevention, protection and victim restitution. The efforts emerged from coordination between the AFL-CIO and organizations like the NDWA, IDWF, the National Guestworker Alliance and Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch reports on the proceedings, and the new Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 is available here.
The New York Times reports that an investigative firm – headed by a former federal prosecutor – has been hired to investigate the labor conditions surrounding New York University’s new Abu Dhabi campus. The investigations are opening after reports of wide-spread labor abuse were discovered by the Times, detailed here.
Yesterday, taxi-drivers protesting apps like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar gridlocked downtown D.C. Now, a labor lawyer from Boston has filed a class-action lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court, arguing that Uber improperly classifies some of its drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees,” shifting expenses that the company should cover onto the backs of workers. Boston Magazine describes the pending case, and the complaint can be found here.