Today’s News & Commentary — October 22, 2018

Published October 22nd, 2018 -  - 10.22.182


A shocking new investigative report by the New York Times highlights miscarriages by women whose employers deny their requests for lighter work duties.  The Times article recounts multiple miscarriages brought on by workplace duties, including incidents at a logistics warehouse where at least four women had miscarriages in 2014. The women involved had all asked for light duty, but their supervisors disregarded their requests.

The Bloomberg Editorial Board wrote yesterday in favor of “freeing” the American labor market by tackling employer’s “monopsony” power.  The article, titled “Making Capitalism Work Better for Workers,” argued that concentration of many industries into a small number of companies has given employers an outsized amount of bargaining power in the labor market.  The piece points to this bargaining power as a cause of the slow pace wage growth, which continues despite record-low unemployment.

In France, unions have reached a deal with AirFrance management which should end months of strikes at the airline, France24 reports.  Five unions representing just over three-quarters of AirFrance’s employees have signed the deal, although the main pilots union is holding out for a separate deal.  The agreement will implement a four-percent pay raise, spread over 2018 and 2019.

Nigerian unions are threatening to restart nationwide strikes if the government does not publicly agree to and move forward on a proposed minimum wage increase, Reuters reports.  The unions suspended their nationwide work-stoppage on its fourth day last month after the government agreed to discuss raising the minimum wage.  The three union umbrella groups leading the effort, Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and United Labour Congress, say that they have come to a deal with public officials, but that the government parties are failing to both disclose the deal to the public and move forward on implementing it.

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