Harvard Dining Workers’ Strike Wraps Up
Harvard’s first strike in more than a decade ended on Wednesday when workers voted 583 to 1 in favor of a new five-year labor contract. The strike began nearly a month ago, after more than four months of negotiations. The new contract ensures that workers will receive an annual salary of around $35,000 and will not face an increase in their health insurance costs. According to Unite Here Local 26 President Brian Lang, quoted in the Boston Globe, the union “achieved every goal, without exception.”
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Transgender Bathroom Case
The Supreme Court on Friday accepted a petition to hear arguments in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, the case involving 17-year old transgender high school student Gavin Grimm. A decision in Grimm’s favor would require public school systems to let transgender students use whichever bathroom aligns with their gender identity.
Obama Grants Another Wave of Commutations
After granting over 100 commutation petitions earlier this month, President Obama commuted the sentences of another 98 individuals on Thursday, including 42 individuals serving life sentences for drug offenses. After granting 872 commutations so far in 2016, Obama has set the single-year clemency record, The Washington Post published a list of all of those granted commutations last week.
Protests Continue at Standing Rock
Police arrested more than 140 people this week at Standing Rock, where members of the Sioux Tribe and other demonstrators have been battling the development of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. A number of opinion pieces have pointed out the contradictions in the government’s approach at Standing Rock and their approach to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year.
In a show of solidarity from across the country, many supporters of the protest checked in to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation today on Facebook in an effort to confuse law enforcement officials who have been tracking users on the social media site.
Getting Ready for the General Election
With just over a week to go before the General Election, more than 22 million people have already voted using early voting and absentee ballots. According to the New York Times, “across all states with available data, early voting has increased among Hispanics and decreased among young people.”
Organizations such as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights are also keeping close tabs on the election proceedings amidst fears about potential voter intimidation.