Today’s News & Commentary — October 20, 2016
The union representing more than 5,000 professors and coaches from 14 Pennsylvania state colleges and universities went on strike yesterday. The walkout is, according to the New York Times, a rare escalation in higher education that reflects increasingly widespread tensions between administrators and their faculties. Negotiations broke down around issues in including healthcare and the union’s bid to narrow the compensation gap between adjunct and full-time faculty.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in five weeks, but still remained relatively close to the recent 43-year lows. Weekly applications for jobless benefits rose by 13,000 last week to 260,000, the Labor Department reported earlier this morning. These numbers represent the highest rates since an identical 260,000 claim applications were filed the week of September 10. Overall, the labor market has continued to show steady improvement, although at a slower pace than in 2015.
Airbnb submitted an ambitious proposal to New York city officials hoping to address recent concerns. Airbnb’s proposal expressed its willingness to crack down on individuals in New York City who rent out multiple homes, create a new registry of hosts to make it easier for officials to enforce housing rules, institute revenue-sharing with landlords whose tenants rent their apartments, and establish a new hotline for neighbors’ complaints. The proposal stated Airbnb would bar hosts who violate local regulations three times, and that the company had already taken 3,000 commercial operators off its service. According to the New York Times, Airbnb previously proposed to collect millions of dollars in hotel taxes for New York City, a stance the company reiterated yesterday. Airbnb stated it had the potential to collect up to $90 million in taxes that could be used for the city’s affordable housing fund. It is unclear how these new proposals will affect the unusually contentious relationship Airbnb has with New York City, its largest market in the United States.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Netflix filed its cross-complaint in California Superior Court responding to 21st Century Fox’s employee poaching suit. Describing Fox’s contracts as “unlawful and unenforceable,” Netflix wrote that the Fox executives’ contracts “unreasonably restrict employee mobility, stifle competition and artificially suppress salary levels.” Fox filed a suit last month after Netflix hired two executives in existing contracts. Fox maintains that Netflix has been impermissibly targeting and poaching valuable executives from its ranks.