Today’s News & Commentary — November 1, 2018
Today is Latina Equal Pay Day, marking the date into the year that Latinx women have to work to make up the pay disparity between them and white men in 2017. On average, Latinx women are paid only 53 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men. White women, in contrast, make 79 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
Google employees began a global walkout today to protest the company’s responses to sexual harassment and assault. Organizers expect more than a thousand workers to walk off the job to protest a culture they say protects abusers at the expense of women at the company. Leaders of the walkout are demanded an end to forced arbitration, a commitment from Google to end pay inequality, a public sexual harassment report, and a confidential means to report harassment at the company. Last week, the New York Times published a report detailing how Google protected Andy Rubin, the so-called “Father of the Android,” after he was accused of coercing a female employee to perform sex acts. After the allegations came to light, Google gave Mr. Rubin a $90 million exit package, fueling the anger felt by many Google employees now walking off the job.
The Washington Post published a column today explaining tensions within the Trump administration over its approach to federal government personnel issues. Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, has sought to work with employees and their union to reform the civil service and increase pay in a way that increases employee performance and accountability, yet she has found the administration to be an obstacle to such progress. For example, President Trump has proposed a pay freeze for 2019 and a cut to retirement accounts and has excluded union representatives from notable discussions. WaPo explains that these actions have created distrust among workers, potentially foiling any consensus Weichert may be able to reach with federal workers’ unions.
The New York Times writes about the ongoing Marriott hotel workers’ strike, explaining what potential guests to the hotel chain “need to know.” The Times interviewed guests whose vacation to Hawaii unexpectedly ran into the workers’ strike, causing inconveniences like service disruption and noisy picket lines. The article mentions the picket-line-crossing of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees as well as several conferences that have moved hotels to avoid crossing picket lines, indicating that worker pressure has had a real economic impact on the hotels. Nonetheless, the strike is verging on entering its third month.