Weekend News & Commentary — October 8-9, 2016

Published October 9th, 2016 -  - 10.09.161


The Harvard University dining service workers’ strike continues.  Students are rallying to the cause by joining the picket lines, buying food for the striking workers, setting up a fundraising page, writing op-eds, and more.

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Photos: Hannah Belitz

At the New York Times, Isabel Escolar argues for a “bill of rights” for housekeepers.  After Escolar filed a wage theft lawsuit against an employer who refused to pay her earned wages, she “was shocked to learn how few rights [she] had under Illinois law.”  Many federal labor laws do not cover domestic work, and although a handful of states have passed some form of a domestic workers’ bill of rights, most have not.  That said, some efforts — including those of Escolar — have been successful: in August, Illinois became the seventh state to adopt a law to protect the rights of domestic workers.  The six other states include Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii, and Connecticut.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has issued a judgment allowing three Eritrean workers to file a lawsuit against a Canadian company for alleged human rights abuses that took place in Eritrea.  According to the Chicago Tribune, this is the first time that a Canadian court has recognized the ability of foreign claimants to file a lawsuit against a Canadian company for violations that took place overseas.  The Canadian Centre for International Justice also notes that this “marks the first time that a mass tort claim for modern slavery will go forward in a Canadian court.”

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