Today’s News & Commentary — May 19, 2017
Unless AT&T officials come to a labor agreement with AT&T workers by 3PM EST today, thousands of workers across 36 states and DC will walk off the job in a three-day strike. This would be the first strike ever for AT&T Mobility workers. The labor dispute covers 40,000 workers across the country. One particular sticking point in the dispute is AT&T’s offshoring of jobs to foreign contractors. AT&T workers are represented by Communications Workers of America (CWA), which also represents Verizon workers, nearly 40,000 of whom went on strike one year ago.
An anonymous senior budget official leaked that President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would require states to provide six weeks of paid leave to both mothers and fathers. The federal government would not subsidize the program; instead, states would be entirely responsible for identifying and implementing the required cuts and taxes to cover its costs. The payments would come through pre-existing unemployment insurance programs.
Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta spoke at a meeting of G20 Labor and Employment ministers concerning “women succeeding in a 21st century economy.” Speaking on employment policies that could help women succeed in their workplaces, Secretary Acosta touted providing more apprenticeships outside of the construction trades, where apprenticeships were traditionally and still are quite common. In particular, Acosta advocated for more apprenticeships in the tech sector to address the perceived skills gap and labor shortage within tech-related fields.