Today’s News & Commentary — September 18, 2018

Published September 18th, 2018 -  - 09.18.182


Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new rule that would narrow its joint-employer test, which would likely benefit franchisees, staffing companies, and business that utilize subcontractors–while significantly limiting such entities’ employees’ ability to collectively bargain.  OnLabor senior contributor Andrew Strom criticized this development, writing that the proposed rule “only enhances ‘predictability’ in that it is predictable that it will be easier for corporate titans to avoid a joint employer funding.”  Fellow OnLabor senior contributor Sharon Block also opined, characterizing the proposal as “the latest step in the Trump Board’s tortuous path to achieving its goal of replacing the Obama Board’s Browning Ferris Industries decision with a significantly narrower interpretation of joint employer doctrine.”  As The Associated Press notes via The New York Times, this proposed rule cannot be implemented until it has undergone a public-comment period; to find and/or comment on the proposed rule, one can visit www.regulations.gov.

The New York Times details how a number of female Democrats that are running for public office in Michigan in the 2018 midterm–from gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer to state legislature candidate Michelle Lavoy–have focused much of their campaigns on swinging organized labor’s support back to the Democratic Party.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States’ historically tight labor market could benefit those who are interested in obtaining part-time employment during the holiday season.  Indeed, many retail companies “have begun their annual push for holiday workers earlier than ever, raising pay and offering perks such as profit-sharing and paid time off for part-time associates.”

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland estimates that the percentage of workplace tasks that are automated will increase to 52% by 2025, a significant increase from the 29% of workplace tasks that are automated today.  However, the same estimates indicate that this won’t necessarily be a net-negative development for the global job market:  by just 2022, “roughly 75 million jobs worldwide will be lost [due to automation], but that could be more than offset by the creation of 133 million new jobs.”

In an opinion piece published yesterday, The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board criticized unions and state politicians for “circumventing” the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFCME.  More specifically, the piece contends that organized labor is “still behaving as if [Janus] is merely advisory,” and that “[s]tate politicians are abetting this blatant political resistance to the Supreme Court,” amounting to “lawless behavior that robs workers of money and their First Amendment right[s].”

 

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