Weekend News & Commentary — November 1-2

Published November 2nd, 2014 -  - 11.02.141


Union leaders are worried about a potential passage of a right to work law in Kentucky, Politico reports. Labor advocates predict that if Mitch McConnell wins on Tuesday, state Republicans will ride on his coattails turning the state’s legislature majority Republican. Unions are already hurting in the Midwest after right to work bills passed in neighboring Indiana and Michigan.

In Rhode Island, the governor’s race between Democratic candidate Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan W. Fung is tight, the New York Times reports. While Raimondo, the state treasurer, has the backing of private sector unions for her support of raising the state’s minimum wage and opposition to right to work laws, she faces criticism from Democratic voters for her restructuring of the pension system without consulting the state’s public sector unions. The public unions sued and rejected a settlement in April, according to Reuters.

Two Cornell professors argue in a New York Times article that careers in math-based academic fields are no longer hostile to women. Women are more likely to receive hiring offers, are paid approximately the same salary, are tenured and promoted at the same rate, remain in their fields at the same rate, are just as likely to receive grant funding and have their articles published, and report similar levels of job satisfaction. The problem, according to the authors, is attracting women to fields like engineering, physics, mathematics, and computer science in the first place. 

Applicants need a bachelor’s degree for an increasing number of jobs,  such as retail supervisor, executive secretary, and insurance claim clerk, the New York Times reports. These positions did not require a college education in the past.

In South Korea, a court has ruled that the Japanese corporation Nachi-Fujikoshi must pay $74,800-$94,800 to South Korean plaintiffs who were forced to work in the company’s factory during Japanese colonial rule. South Korean courts made similar rulings against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation, according to the New York TimesMitsubishi and Nippon Steel have already filed appeals and Nachi-Fujikoshi plans to do so as well. Japan says that all compensation claims were settled when the two countries restored diplomatic relations and Japan paid South Korea a lump sum.

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