The Washington Post has reported that according to two unnamed congressional staffers, Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The Act requires U.S. companies to certify to the Securities and Exchange Commission that they do not use imprisoned or coerced workers from the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, where the Chinese government is allegedly detaining an estimated one to two million Uyghers in internment camps. Apple’s lobbying firm, Fierce Government Relations, has confirmed that it was lobbying on the bill on behalf of Apple, but did not indicate whether Apple supported or opposed its measures. The staffers declined to supply more information about the specific provisions which Apple was lobbying to change or omit. The bill names Patagonia, Coca-Cola and Costco as examples of U.S. companies who rely on Uygher slaves, but does not name Apple. Still, report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute identified four instances in which labor from the Xinjiang region may have been connected to Apple’s supply chain.

Over 4,200 West Virginian workers in West Virginia have committed to a three and a half year contract with Kroger Co.. The workers previously voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of striking, after the company proposed a contract which severely limited spending on the workers’ health care plan. While details of the revised contract are not yet available, but United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400 said it “fully funded” health benefits during its term and provided “real raises” for all workers retroactive to Nov. 1. The agreement runs for three and a half years and covers employees at 40 stores in West Virginia.

Kathryn A. Edwards of The Dallas Morning News opines that the pandemic-related spike in unemployment rates has so disproportionately affected women that the conditions would most accurately be referred to as a “she-cession.” Indeed, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than there were in October 2019. Edwards attributes this gender disparity to the closure of schools (or the danger of schools), and a lack of state-supported childcare: “caregiving demands are pushing millions of women out of the workforce.” Given the recent surge in cases, Edwards does not expect the mitigation of this trend in the near future.