News & Commentary

November 27, 2014

The Boston Globe reports that the number of “involuntary part-time workers” is at a record high across the country.  Involuntary part-time workers are workers who would prefer to be in full-time jobs, but aren’t able to find them.  It estimates that there are approximately 7 million Americans in this position today, an increase of 3 million since 2007.

In immigration news, the Wall Street Journal reports that the President’s proposed executive action on immigration could improve job prospects for highly skilled immigrants.  Although many conservatives are against the President’s immigration plan, some business leaders might support it because it would make H-1B visas (temporary work visas for skilled technical workers) portable, meaning employees could more easily move between jobs.  Similarly, the executive order “could allow as many as 10,000 additional immigrant entrepreneurs” to remain in the country and work legally.

The Washington Post reports that Fhar Miess, an employee of Capital Bikeshare, was fired to trying to unionize other employees.  Capital Bikeshare agrees that it fired him for his organizing work, but argues that it needed to do so to comply with the NLRA—because Capital Bikeshare views Miess as a supervisor, he is not allowed to organize employees. Miess argues that he is not a supervisor, and he was fired to intimidate other workers.  The Transit Workers Union, which has been organizing bikeshare workers in multiple cities, is planning to file an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB on Miess’s behalf.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City is in talks with its union in a bid to remain open. The casino is currently scheduled to close on December 12, and is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.  Trump Entertainment, which had previously demanded $14.5 million of concessions from the union and $175 million in state and city aid.  The bankruptcy court has also eliminated the workers’ health care and pension rights, a decision that the union appealed to federal court.  But the sides broke the impasse by offering to restore health care benefits and some pension benefits.  Trump Entertainment is hopefully they can reach a deal and remain open.

Politico has additional analysis of San Francisco’s new worker-schedule law that we covered yesterday.  It’s the first law of its kind in the country.  Under this new law, chain stores will be required to provide employees with two-weeks notice before changing that worker’s schedule, or the employer will need provide extra wages as “predictability pay.”  Politico described the law as “local government stepping in to the fill the void left by the decades-long decline of private-sector labor unions.”

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