Today’s News and Commentary — June 16, 2022

US Well Services Inc., a company involved in oil production, is facing a potential class action lawsuit by former employees who were laid off due to the economic effects of Covid-19. The employees allege that the company’s failure to give at least 60 days’ notice of layoffs violated the WARN Act. US Well invoked the natural disaster exception to the Act, but the Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday that Covid-19 does not qualify as a natural disaster. The Fifth Circuit appears to be the first federal appeals court to rule on this issue.

House Ways and Means President Richard Neal (D-MA) is asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the growing practice of retirement savings programs offering cryptocurrency investments. Neal’s June 15 letter raised concerns about the lack of regulation of cryptocurrency investments, which could jeopardize retirees’ savings funds. Bloomberg reports that the Department of Labor is with Neal on this issue and has warned against investing retirement savings in Cryptocurrencies. Recent market developments have highlighted the riskiness of cryptocurrency investments, as valuations have plummeted as the Federal Reserve announces plans to raise interest rates.

Meanwhile, Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week released a cryptocurrency regulation bill deemed industry-friendly, Bloomberg reports. That bill would direct the GAO to look at both the opportunities and risks of including crypto in retirement savings. Lummis has expressed the belief that cryptocurrencies can be a valuable part of a diversified portfolio.

Yesterday, a unanimous decision by the National Labor Relations Board held that regional NLRB officials can deny petitions to expel existing unions if they find merit in alleged labor law violations that would make such petitions or related votes to decertify. to a suspicious syndicate.

In a time of historic union victories at some of America’s largest companies, why has union growth looked so different at different companies? Starbucks workers have unionized at 143 Starbucks locations, while organizing drives at Amazon warehouses have not been as successful. The Guardian’s analysis, including conversations with workers and organizers, suggests that the massive size of the stores and high turnover rate compared to individual Starbucks franchises are important factors.

On Wednesday, the most powerful unions in Tunisia announced a general strike that will start today. The strike could lead to the cancellation of all international flights in and out of the country, as well as the paralysis of maritime and land transport. The General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) said the action would include 15 transport companies and the cancellation of 49 flights. Tunisia is facing a financial crisis and is seeking a $4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid national bankruptcy. The union intends to protest President Kais Saied’s decision to freeze wages as part of a government deal to guarantee the IMF loan.

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