Today’s News & Commentary — November 15, 2017
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) alleging that a new state law would make it all but impossible for the farmworkers’ union to continue operations. The lawsuit challenges the North Carolina Farm Act of 2017, which targets FLOC in two ways. First, the law invalidates contracts guaranteeing that employers will honor employees’ requests to deduct union dues from their paychecks. Second, the law invalidates settlement agreements negotiated by the union to advance farmworkers’ rights. The ACLU is making rights to association and equal protection arguments against the law.
More than half of US workers did not receive a salary raise in the past year, reports USA Today. A survey conducted by Bankrate.com also revealed that while Labor Department reports show average wages have gone up around 2.5% annually the last few years, most the gains are being reaped by more highly educated workers whose wages are growing faster than average. Just 17% of workers earning less than $30,000 a year got raises, compared to 43% of those earning $75,000 or more.
Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, questions whether workers will actually get their rights after a UK appeals court ruled that Uber drivers are workers, not contractors. Mr. Moyer-Lee argues that last Friday’s ruling only reinforced what was already true: workers in Britain’s on-demand economy have always been entitled to employment rights under UK law. He concludes, “the fundamental problem of employment rights is a lack of enforcement of existing law.”