● The filibuster is a work problem, writes Hamilton Nolan.
● A long list of organizations, from trade unions to the Sunrise movement to the United Methodist Church, writes on behalf of the PRO Act that the House passed this week:
The PRO Act is a crucial step in restoring workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively by streamlining the union formation process, ensuring that new unions are able to negotiate an initial collective agreement, and holding employers accountable if they violate workers’ rights.
● Sarah Jaffe reports on the struggle of workers at a large podcasting company to negotiate a first contract:
As employees of Gimlet Media, a Brooklyn-based narrative podcast production company owned by streaming media giant Spotify, worked for the past two years to team up and then negotiate an initial deal, that question was central to their struggles. This week they are participating in rounds of marathon negotiations trying to reach an agreement by Thursday that primarily provides a framework for workers to own some of the rights to derivative works created from the podcasts they create.
“We’re doing the best we can to get a deal,” said Meg Driscoll, producer at Gimlet and a member of the negotiating team. The derivative works issue, she said, is the biggest problem they hold on to. “It’s the idea that people … don’t own their work, but have a say in whether something is done with their work, or some of the income from it.”
● The urge by Massachusetts state officials to force schools to reopen in person on time for a large round of standardized tests that the same officials passed must be really disgusting, despite the pandemic. Tracy Novick breaks it down:
The Commissioner has no authority to override the federal government’s guidelines on the health and safety of our schools. Yet this week he did so, stating that regardless of the level of contagion in the community, schools must return full time – in direct violation of CDC guidelines – no more than a meter – in direct violation of CDC guidelines – with no hybrid available to distance to ensure – in the event of a direct violation of the CDC guidelines – without reference to ventilation – in the event of a direct violation of the CDC guidelines. […]
I am sure you have been assured that the Commissioner is considering waivers. I also know that there will be few such exemptions and only after the ministry reviews the condescending tape measure that we meet its lower safety standards and not the federal government’s higher ones.
Since when have we had lower standards than the federal government? And since when have we tolerated this for our most vulnerable children?
If the state is making a policy that requires doing away with the biggest, brownest, poorest districts, then the state is making an unequal policy, and the ministry should be clearly told to start over.