News & Commentary

November 9, 2014

In immigration news, political parties and advocacy groups continue to strategize about the way forward following last week’s election. The New York Times reports that some advocacy groups and labor unions have asked President Obama to use an executive order to shield almost 7 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. These groups, including the AFL-CIO and SEIU, have asked for a reprieve for any undocumented immigrants who have been eligible for legalization under the bill that passed the Senate last year. According to the Los Angeles Times, House Speaker John Boehner has continued to warn President Obama against taking unilateral action on immigration reform. And several other Republican leaders have echoed that message, according to the Los Angeles Times. An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times suggests a series of less ambitious actions President Obama could take via executive order. And according to Politico, while the politicians continue to fight, unaccompanied child migrants at the border continue to lack attorneys.

In education news, the nations two largest teachers unions are reevaluating their strategies following the election, according to the Wall Street Journal. The American Federal of Teachers, and the National Education Association spent a combined $60 million in this election cycle, but most of their favored candidates lost.

The New York Times reports that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has reached a deal, ending its two-month lockout. The musicians agreed to pay more for health insurance in exchange for a small raise. The labor dispute over the past several months had led to cancelled concerts and anger on each side. Last years labor contract included a pay cut for musicians, making them less willing to compromise on pay this year.

Employees, unions, and business organizations are awaiting a key decision from the NLRB over whether employees have a right to use company email to communicate about their working conditions, including communicating with a union, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since 2007, the NLRB has held that employees do not have that right, but the Board is now reconsidering the issue. The NLRB general counsel has argued that employees should have a right to use work email for this purpose “during ‘nonwork time’ unless an employer can show a specific need” otherwise.

In international news, the Wall Street Journal reports that the German union GDL ended its railway strike on Saturday. The union began a strike last Wednesday and planned on striking through Monday, as part of its ongoing dispute with employers over its new contract. However, the Union decided to end the strike early.

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