Weekend News & Commentary – March 28-29

Published March 29th, 2015 -  - 03.29.158


Governor Jack Markell of Delaware wrote a letter to the New York Times urging other states to follow in Delaware’s footsteps and “eliminate the arbitrary loss of driver’s licenses for drug crimes that don’t involve automobiles” because “a valid driver’s license is essential to earning and keeping a job, but wrongheaded policies too often take it away.”  Governor Markell said that “everyone should work to pay back what he owes, but we must reserve automatic suspension of licenses for only the most serious of circumstances.”

Bloomberg Business reports that on Sunday, South African government and the country’s public service unions failed to reach agreement over wages, thereby increasing the risk of a strike.  “Our analysis is very simple: The government want a strike so they can unilaterally implement the offer that is on the table and that won’t be accepted,” said Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary for the South African Democratic Teachers Union on Sunday.

The Baltimore Sun writes that the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) approval of a “long-disputed” labor contract in Baltimore sends a message to shippers that the city’s port is “open for business,” according to Wilbert Rowell, the trustee in charge of Baltimore Local 333.  Port officials said the new Local 333 contract will strengthen the port’s position as a major employment center in the region.  Rowell “purged the local’s membership rolls” after the Local’s rejection of a similar local contract in February.  Two of the elected officials ousted under the trusteeship have “vowed to challenge the approved contract as part of an existing lawsuit that claims Rowell’s trusteeship is illegal.”  Their lawsuit claims as many as 500 workers were removed from the union, and 86 are named as co-plaintiffs.  

The New York Times interviewed Nick Swaggert, the St. Paul-based veterans program director for Genesis10, a technology staffing and services firm.  Swaggert discussed the challenges and stereotypes that veterans face in the job market.  His firm, Genesis10, helps veterans improve their skills and interviewing techniques and then matches them with the right jobs across the country.

Slate writes about how marijuana legalization and the rise in medical marijuana usage is changing the workplace.  Though employers may not want employees to smoke on the job, they run the risk of getting sued for failing to accommodate an employee who has a medical condition.

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