Today’s News & Commentary — November 4

Published November 5th, 2014 -  - 11.05.1414


The G.O.P. has taken control of both the Senate and the House for the first time in eight years. Politico profiles a number of ways this flip may impact labor law, including regulation of union election procedures, minimum wage for federal contractors and home health care workers, pensions, and worker safety. Additionally, it is expected that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will take over the chairmanship of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: Alexander sports a lifetime AFL-CIO rating of 18 percent, while retiring Democratic chairman Tom Harkin’s rating was 94 percent. More is available here.

The Wall Street Journal describes some of the national political stakes at play in the California School Supervisor race. Incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck are both Democrats, but diverge strongly on highly contentious national policy issues including charter schools, public school choice, and teacher tenure and dismissal rules. The candidates hold opposing views on the landmark Vergara v. California decision from last summer, where nine public school students successfully sued the state over teacher tenure and dismissal laws, on the grounds that such policies discriminate against minority students by depriving them access to quality education. Torlakson appealed the case, while Tuck has praised its outcome. Currently, the vote remains too close to call.

The New York Times Editorial Board discusses European immigration reform, lamenting the standstill that has recently occurred in efforts to change the status quo. A rising anti-immigrant sentiment will risk “fatal consequences,” the Editorial Board warns, noting that over “3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe this year.”

The New York Times reports that Sprint will lay off 2,000 employees to cut costs. Sprint, the third largest domestic wireless carrier, hopes these cuts will reduce labor costs by $400 million a year.

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