Weekend News & Commentary — October 15-16, 2016

Published October 16th, 2016 -  - 10.16.16


After a long stretch of stagnating sales and customer dissatisfaction, Walmart recently reported an uptick in business.  How did it do it?  Higher wages for its workers, according to The New York Times.  The retail giant — once famous for its cost-cutting — has flipped the script, offering better pay and more training opportunities for its workers.  And the results have been promising.  For a nation still struggling with slow productivity gains, Walmart’s wage experiment could hold important lessons.

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s leaked-tape scandalpolls have shown that he has lost support among one of his most important constituencies: the white working class.  This latest tumble in the polls has been due in large part to white working-class women; although Trump still maintains a lead over Hillary Clinton among white blue-collar male voters, Clinton has now pulled even among their female counterparts.  POLITICO examines this gender gap, reporting on the growing rift between white working-class women and the GOP.

Meanwhile, as more women come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Trump, a national conversation has started about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace.  NPR discusses the persistence of the problem — last week, fifteen McDonald’s workers filed harassment charges with the EEOC — while Fortune offers a look back on its long history in the American workplace.

And lastly, as the world’s nations take an important new step toward fighting climate change — brokering a deal that will phase out a dangerous, greenhouse-gas-emitting chemical — the Christian Science Monitor looks at how organized labor can help.  Unions are throwing their support behind offshore wind turbine projects, creating “green jobs” while also advancing the shift to clean energy.

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