Apr 4, 2017

Big labor seeks to get small

Fight for $15 protestors picket in Chicago (Daniel X. O'Neil)

AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka will lay out a strategy for the labor movement in the Trump era during a 12:30 Tuesday speech at the National Press Club, which will emphasize communication with the public and its members regarding the difference between the president's rhetoric and action on issues dear to working Americans. But he will also call for a profound change in tactics, arguing that labor and its allies should emphasize extending collective bargaining rights to workers who do not belong to a recognized union.

Why it matters: Labor has spent more than a decade pouring money and organizing efforts into the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have allowed unions to gain recognition after 50% of workers publicly indicated support on a petition, without having to be subsequently approved by secret ballot. The bill never passed in part because elimination of the secret ballot seemed antidemocratic to many voters.

What's next: The movement's most high-profile successes during the Obama years came from so-called "alt-labor" groups, or looser worker confederations that began as ways to promote awareness of the rights non-organized workers, and later launched activist campaigns like the "fight-for-15" movement in the fast food industry. Reforms that would give more rights to workers outside of recognized unions could give these groups more influence.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health