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Amazon, Then Starbucks, Now Apple - Workers In LA And Beyond Are Unionizing

People visit the Apple Store in Grand Central Station on April 18, 2022 in New York City, where employees have begun the process of unionization.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Getty Images North America
People visit the Apple Store in Grand Central Station on April 18, 2022 in New York City, where employees have begun the process of unionization.

Federal Judge Voids Air Travel Mask Mandate, Sparking Quick Change For Airlines, Other Transportation

Mask Mandate Transportation 4.19.22

Monday’s decision that struck down the CDC’s requirement for masking aboard planes, buses, trains and in airports brought a quick policy flip for travelers and transportation staff. Almost all major airlines and airports announced they would no longer require masking, as did many other major transportation hubs. Many, especially some flight attendants who have dealt with some obstinate travelers, cheered the recent change, while others found the move concerning amid ongoing health concerns. The CDC still recommends travelers wear masks on public transportation. Masking will still be required during some local travel, including by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, which runs the DASH bus service in downtown L.A. and Commuter Express lines.

Today on AirTalk, CNBC airline reporter Leslie Josephs and Dr. Kimberly Shriner, director of Infectious Disease and Prevention at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, will discuss the safety and logistical implications of the recent change to masking rules for travelers.

Was The ‘Great Resignation’ Really Just A Great Job Upgrade?

Great Reshuffle 4.19.22

The so-called “Great Resignation” was discussed at length over the course of the pandemic -- the idea being that living in a world with COVID forced a lot of people to reevaluate their priorities, and many realized that the financial benefits of their job didn’t balance out downsides like long commutes, lost time with family, toxic bosses or work environments and demanding schedules. For workers close to retirement who lost their jobs or were furloughed, it was thought many would just call it a career earlier than they planned instead of spending the time and resources finding a new job they’d only hold for a year or two. But in a recent op-ed for the New York Times, columnist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman argues that the past few months of employment data have “pretty much destroyed the Great Resignation narrative.” Instead, he argues that what we’re seeing is more of a “Great Reshuffling” where people aren’t dropping out of the workforce and not reentering it, but doing it in ways like self-employment that might not be tracked by the usual metrics that measure employment.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll dig into some of the ideas in Krugman’s op-ed with UCLA Labor Economist Till von Wachter and AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist for the national job and hiring site Indeed.

Inside Streaming’s “Binge Times” And The Battle For Entertainment Supremacy 

Binge Time Book 4.19.22

The launch of Netflix in the late 90s set in motion a chain of events that the entertainment business is still grappling to fully deal with today. Legacy media like Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal, along with tech rival Apple spent years trying to mount their own successful entries into the streaming game, desperate to catch up to Netflix and Amazon. And the battle for streaming supremacy was thrown a curveball by the onset of the pandemic. In their new book “Binge Times: Inside Hollywood’s Furious Billion-Dollar Battle to Take Down Netflix” (William Morrow, 2022), Dade Hayes, business editor at Deadline and Dawn Chmielewski, U.S. entertainment business correspondent for Reuters take us inside the streaming battle and reveal the winners and losers as the new medium turned the business models and structures of legacy companies inside out. Today on AirTalk, Dade Hayes and Dawn Chmielewski join Larry to discuss their new book and the state of the streaming wars.

Amazon, Then Starbucks, Now Apple - Workers In LA And Beyond Are Unionizing

Unionization Efforts 4.19.22

A recent unionizing victory by Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island has gripped the media, galvanized employees, and caused distress amongst employers who are wondering if their companies are next. Despite spending over $4 million dollars on anti-union efforts last year, Amazon wasn’t able to fend off the unionizing efforts of approximately 2,600 of their employees who voted in support of the effort. This is worrisome for other companies, who are watching a growing trend in union memberships since the start of the pandemic. Employees at Starbucks are following suit. Here in Los Angeles, four Starbucks locations have voted to unionize, inspired by the success of 20 other Starbucks locations throughout the country who have filed with the National Labor Relations Board. Experts point to a number of reasons for the growing trend in union memberships. But how big will the anti-union backlash be from employers? And how will these unionization efforts impact labor laws both here in California and across the U.S.?

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by senior fellow at Center for American Progress and author of the book “Re-Union: How Bold Labor Reforms Can Repair, Revitalize, and Reunite the United States” David Madland, and professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University and an expert on the anti-union industry and anti-union legislation in the U.S John Logan, to discuss the state of unionization both in California and beyond.

In Honor Of National Parks Week, We Hear From Listeners About Their Favorites

Favorite National Parks 4.19.22

National Parks Week has begun, and in honor of the occasion, the National Parks Service recently made it free to visit its natural sites.

California is home to nine national parks, allowing residents from across the state to experience national parks for the first time, or to revisit favorites again and again. Today on AirTalk, in honor of National Parks Week, we talk with listeners about their favorite national parks around the countries, the memories they’ve made there, and the plans they may have to visit in the future.

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