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Workplace Issues Today

Daily News for Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Selected by the Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays, WIT is a free alert service, providing abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media. Subscribe to WIT »

Established in 1999, this service also includes a searchable archive.

Malaysian Workers Exploited and in Debt

Malaysia’s electronics industry recently fell under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The investigation reported that migrant workers are subject to extreme exploitation and are required to pay high recruitment fees as most of them are illegal or have had their passports taken away. Many workers are underpaid and struggle to pay the recruitment fees and the interest that goes along with them.

See “Report Cites Forced Labor in Malaysia,” by Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, Sep 17 2014 (SEB)

UK Unemployment Population Falls Below One Million

Within the past year, the United Kingdom’s unemployment has seen the largest drop since 1988 with 468,000 citizens finding employment. The unemployment rate has currently settled at 6.2%, and less than one million people in the UK are now unemployed. The last time the country reached levels this low was in 2008 before Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy.

See “UK Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level since 2008 Financial Crisis,” by Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Sep 17 2014 (SEB)

Workers at Kennedy Airport Strike for Unionization

Employees of Alstate Maintenance at Kennedy Airport walked off the job today over pay, threats and an anti-union sentiment from their employer. Employees of Alstate were offered benefits to leave their union and those who refused were demoted and faced a pay cut. Workers claim that they cannot wear anything pro-union and are often spied on by management. The airport announced that it will still be operating despite the strike, but passenger service may be disrupted.

See “Dozens of Kennedy Airport Workers Strike as Struggle to Unionize Escalates,” by Barry Paddock & Rich Schapiro, New York Daily News, Sep 17 2014 (SEB)