Today's News & Commentary — November 20
The bus drivers who shuttle Facebook employees to and from work voted to join Teamsters Local 853, the New York Times reports. The drivers main concerns are an inadequate hourly pay rate and a split shift schedule. Loop Transportation, the contractor which employs the workers, said it would respect the election results.
Unions are beginning to question the appointment of Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary, according to the Wall Street Journal. Salon reports that Mr. Lew was the CEO and Executive Vice President of New York University when the graduate students’ union lost their collective bargaining rights.
The Washington Post reports on the labor developments at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. On Labor has covered events at the Chattanooga plant extensively. The American Council of Employees, a recently formed alternative to the UAW, is now competing with the union for members. Both groups claim they have a large percentage of the plant’s workforce as members.
Politico reports that the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights has passed in San Francisco. The bill gives retail workers more predictable schedules and encourages full-time work. The bill also mandates equal treatment of part-time and full-time workers.
A New York Times op-ed argues that Republicans take unions more seriously than Democrats do. Republicans have focused their efforts on undermining the labor movement while Democrats have done little to protect unions.
In Ecuador, thousands marched yesterday in protest of President Rafael Correa’s administration, the Wall Street Journal reports. The demonstrators protested President Correa’s introduction of labor reforms, including the elimination of short-term contracts and the reduction of the wage gap between employees and employers.
In France, the car company Peugeot plans to eliminate 3,450 jobs next year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the plan could affect 4% of the French workforce.
In Italy, two of the country’s major trade unions announced plans to strike on December 12, according to the Wall Street Journal. The unions are protesting the Jobs Act, which would make it easier employers to hire and fire, as well as Prime Minister Renzi’s austerity package.
In continuing immigration news, President Obama will likely announce an immigration reform plan today, the Los Angeles Times reports. The plan would stop the deportations of millions of parents of documented U.S. residents. The plan will probably make it easier for foreigners with work visas to apply for permanent residency and spouses of U.S. citizens to apply for a waiver from a current program that requires them to leave the country before receiving legal status. Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin are threatening to file lawsuits to block the President from using executive action, according to the New York Times.