News & Commentary

November 30, 2017

Yesterday, adding to a prominent series of firings related to sexual harassment and abuse allegations, NBC fired Matt Lauer, the co-host of the channel’s most profitable franchise, “Today.”  NBC News Chairman said NBC news had received an allegation that he had made inappropriate sexual contact with a subordinate and had reason to believe this was not an isolated incident.  A day after defending Al Franken, Garrison Keillor was fired by the Minnesota Public Radio for inappropriate behavior.  Keillor had been the host of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion.  Time reports.

Federal Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York ruled this week that the records related to the details of Donald Trump’s settlement of 1998 class-action lawsuit over dangerous labor conditions be unsealed.  The documents were originally requested by Time Inc and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. They revealed that Donald Trump paid $1.375 million in 1998 to settle the claims of 200 undocumented Polish workers who were paid half the minimum wage for 12-hour shifts without any safety equipment, ripping up electrical wires and concrete in clouds of dust and asbestos to demolish the Bonwit Teller building, where the Trump Tower now stands.  The New York Times reports.

Because of a scheduling glitch, American Airlines currently has about 15,000 flights scheduled from December 17-31 without a pilot, co-pilot, or both.  The pilots’ union, The Allied Pilots Association, has opposed American’s tactics to fill those spots by tapping reserve or on-call pilots and offering overtime pay for some flights.  They claim that American is violating its labor contract by imposing a solution without union input, and is improperly restricting premium pay.  Reuters and The Washington Post reports.

The Japanese government plans to lower the number of overtime hours workers can work, in order to reduce the country’s long working hours. Earlier as reported on the blog here, several news sources reported cases of karoshi, or death by overwork. The plans may save the Japanese government by as much as 5 trillion yen.  Reuters reports.




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