Weekend News & Commentary — Nov. 26-27, 2016
In the wake of the recent election, unions — which spent over $100 million campaigning against Donald Trump — now have some tough questions to face. Republicans are eager to build momentum on right-to-work legislation (a conservative Supreme Court pick will no doubt help), and President-elect Trump is expected to roll back much of the Obama administration’s labor-related reforms — including the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which a federal court blocked earlier this week with a nationwide injunction (read more here). Steven Greenhouse, writing for The New York Times, speculates that with a White House that is more hostile to labor, unions will have to focus on local battles (for example, state minimum-wage referendums) while workers experiment with new methods of organizing (taking their cue, perhaps, from the Fight for 15 movement).
Meanwhile, President-elect Trump has not forgotten his campaign promises to keep American jobs from moving overseas. Over Thanksgiving he reached out to air conditioner manufacturer Carrier, which plans on shuttering two factories in Indiana and moving over 2,000 jobs to Mexico. “I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier . . . to stay in the U.S.,” Trump tweeted (“MAKING PROGRESS,” he added). If negotiations succeed, it’ll be a big political win for the President-elect. Read more here.
Local governments are stepping up efforts to give part-time workers more predictable, more remunerative schedules. Seattle, New York City, and other cities are considering “fair scheduling” legislation that will provide workers with more notice of their schedules, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Elsewhere in the world, the presidential race in France is heating up, with former prime minister Francois Fillon favored to win the nomination of the center-right Republican Party. According to commentators, Fillon is a conservative candidate who has tapped into nationalist and xenophobic sentiments — comparisons to Trump have been made — and talks tough on labor issues. He has promised to curb the power of the unions, end the 35-hour working week rule, and cut down France’s 3,000-page labor code to a fraction, The Economist reports. Learn more about Fillon here and here.
And finally, the Lufthansa strike continued into the weekend, marking its fourth day Saturday. The pilots’ union is asking for an average annual pay increase of 3.7% for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period. Lufthansa’s latest offer was rejected. Fortune has more.