Today’s News & Commentary — September 5

Published September 5th, 2014 -  - 09.05.141


CBS is calling yesterday’s fast food workers’ strikes in 150 U.S. cities a “new union tactic” of demonstrating that unions fight for all workers, not just their members. The Wall Street Journal reports that several hundred protestors were arrested in the actions.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the multiple legal and political challenges to teacher protections across the country. In June, a California trial court struck down several provisions of the state’s tenure policies for public school teachers. Both the teachers unions and Gov. Brown are appealing that ruling. In its wake, and similar challenges in New York and other states, the article explores how teachers unions must reshape their public image in the face of declining public approval.

The LA Times editorial board argues that California governor Jerry Brown should not sign a bill that would take sides in a dispute between Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and the LA Board of Supervisors. The dispute concerns the appointment process to the county’s Employee Relations Commission, which “rule[s] on disagreements over labor issues, such as working conditions, pay and contracts,” and “can have a major impact on government agencies’ operations.” For the last four decades, labor and management jointly made appointments to the Commission, but last year, the Mayor rewrote the appointment rules, arguing that the city charter gave him full authority to appoint board members without labor’s input. The California assembly has passed a bill that would force the county to revert to the old system of joint appointments. Some view the bill as restoring unions’ voice in an important political process, while others, like the LA Times, see the bill as an “end-run around state and local laws to help one side in a political and legal dispute.”

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new Pew Research Center report finding that the average undocumented resident today has been in the U.S. for 12.7 years, up from less than 8 years a decade earlier. The report also concluded that the total undocumented population remains steady at 11.3 million. According to the article, the report could “bolster the case made by many Democrats, and some Republicans, that the illegal immigration ­problem is not growing worse, and that those already living here have become part of the fabric of American society.” The report comes as President Obama is considering whether to “expand a program that gives temporary relief from deportation and work permits to some illegal immigrants.”

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