Today’s News & Commentary — March 23, 2018
A policy rider in the spending bill passed last night bars employers from skimming workers’ tips. As we noted earlier this week, Democrats sought the rider after controversy engulfed the Department of Labor’s effort to repeal an Obama Era tip regulation. The Trump rescission would have allowed employers to keep tips as long as workers were otherwise earning minimum wage. Democrats say that, despite the rider, they’re still seeking answers about reports earlier this week that Secretary Acosta and Mick Mulvaney, the head of OMB, pressed for the burial of a quantitative analysis predicting that $640 million in tips would be skimmed every year under the Trump rule. An audit of the rulemaking process is already underway by the DoL Inspector General.
Massive strikes by students, teachers, and transportation workers across France shuttered schools and halted transportation. President Emmanuel Macron, who has already pushed through major reforms of the country’s notoriously intricate code du travail, is gearing up to overhaul France’s public sector, slashing public workers, reforming state-run railways, and adjusting unemployment benefits and pensions.
Airport workers in the New York area are close to securing a $19 minimum wage after years of demanding raises. Many of the workers — at JFK, La Guardia, and Newark International Airports — currently earn state minimum wage, which is $15 in New York but only $8.60 across the river in New Jersey. The proposal to raise the wage over five years was approved by the directors of the Port Authority, the airports’ operator, and is expected to be adopted by the agency’s board this summer.
IBM has cut 20,000 workers over the age of 40 in the last five years. A ProPublica-Mother Jones investigation uncovers the company’s orchestrated strategy to replace an aging workforce with younger workers. In the process, “IBM has flouted or outflanked US laws and regulations intended to protect later-career workers from age discrimination.” IBM’s moves might foreshadow other corporations’ strategies for forcing out or replacing Baby Boomers.