Bernie Sanders has scored another surprise victory in securing some of the support of the labor movement. The Huffington Post reports that the Amalgamated Transit Union officially endorsed Sanders for president after having “carried out a careful and deliberative process with union members before deciding to side with Sanders.” While Hilary Clinton has been endorsed by most major national unions, the ATU has been joined by the Communications Workers of America, National Nurses United, and the American Postal Workers Union in endorsing Sanders. The AFL-CIO has yet to endorse a candidate.
The new labor contract which averted a major transit strike in New Jersey was very worker-friendly. According to The Record, NJ Transit’s 4,200 rail workers obtained “retroactive pay, steady salary increases and a firm cap on employees’ health insurance costs,” while “the only point NJ Transit won is an agreement to extend the new contract through the end of 2019, a year and a half longer than the unions had requested.” The terms are similar to those proposed by emergency boards convened by President Obama to help avert the strike. NJ Transit’s 11 rail unions will not vote on the contract, and 51 percent of them need to approve for it to take effect. A strike would have made commuting into New York City from New Jersey near-impossible and thus come at significant cost to the New York-New Jersey economy.
While many recent disputes between sports leagues and player unions have played out in the public eye, the union representing baseball players hopes to continue a record of labor peace. FOX Sports notes that Major League Baseball Player’s Association Tony Clark expects peaceful negotiations with Major League Baseball over a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires on December 1. In the interview, Clark discussed negotiations, “the length of the regular season, the new second-base slide rule, qualifying contract offers, one-game playoff series and teams tanking games for more draft pool money.”
The French government has decided to try and seek compromise with labor unions over proposed reforms to labor laws. Bloomberg reports that the government “dropped a clause in proposed legislation that would have capped severance pay for firings and offered fresh funds to support untrained youths after a week of intense talks with unions, students and business lobbies and two days of protests.” Initially the government sought to institute major reforms, but then backtracked and negotiated with unions after large protests.
China has also experienced increased labor unrest. According to The New York Times, “as China’s economy slows after more than two decades of breakneck growth, strikes and labor protests have erupted across the country. Factories, mines and other businesses are withholding wages and benefits, laying off staff or shutting down altogether. Worried about their prospects in a gloomy job market, workers are fighting back with unusual ferocity.”