Today’s News & Commentary — October 10th, 2017

Published October 10th, 2017 -  - 10.10.178


French public sector workers across the nation’s 9  main unions have engaged in another strike against President Macron’s economic policies.  The strikes have affected schools and flights, grounding at least 450,000 travelers across Europe.

Today, the Japan labor standard office determined the suicide of a 23-year old employee of Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium construction site stemmed from overwork.  Hiroshi Kawahito had recorded 190 hours of overtime in one month.  Last week, Japanese broadcasting firm “NHK” disclosed the death of one of their journalists in the summer of 2013.  Miwa Sado had worked 159 hours of overtime over a summer and died of congestive heart failure a month later.  “Karoshi,” or “death from overwork,” became a widely recognized phenomenon in the 1980s for Japanese workers and continues to affect the workforce.  This week, Japan’s biggest advertising company, “Dentsu,” was fined a token sum of 500,000 yen (about $4400) for forcing its staff to work overtime over agreed-upon union limits.  Dentsu employee Matsuri Takahashi had committed suicide on Christmas of 2015 in a case that was also labeled as karoshi.

Amidst the reactions to sexual harassment allegations and investigations of Harvey Weinstein, Gretchen Carlson, the former anchor at Fox who filed a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, has written an piece on changes to arbitration policies that employers and Congress must take to encourage women to report incidents of sexual harassment.

Today, Lufthansa and its main pilots’ union signed an agreement that includes a shift from a defined benefit to a defined contribution pension scheme, has more flexible working hours and aims to increase the average retirement age of pilots.  In exchange for lower staff costs and reduced pension liabilities, Lufthansa will hire junior pilots and have increased pay. The New York Times reports.

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