With help from Allie Bice and Dan Diamond
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— The Chicago teachers’ strike stretches into its seventh day.
— Many employers are using artificial intelligence to inform their hiring decisions.
— Senate Democrats demanded details about the Trump administration’s new immigrants-only health insurance mandate.
GOOD MORNING! It’s Wednesday, Oct. 23, and this is Morning Shift, your daily tipsheet on labor and immigration news. Send tips, exclusives, and suggestions to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @RebeccaARainey, @IanKullgren, and @TimothyNoah1.
CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE: More than 30,000 Chicago public school educators and staff in the nation’s third largest school district remain out on the picket line for the fifth school day, despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot request that the teachers end their walkout without a contract, POLITICO’s Nicole Gaudiano reports. The strike began last Thursday, a work stoppage that affects 360,000 students.
The walkout has drawn the support of Democratic presidential candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also joined teachers on Tuesday with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
Bargaining meetings continued Tuesday between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, but most of the union bargaining team returned to the picket lines. “They won’t waste their time trying to talk to a brick wall,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said. On Tuesday evening Chicago Public Schools announced on Twitter that classes were once again canceled today. “CTU has not scheduled a House of Delegates vote, which would be necessary to end their strike,” CPS tweeted.
CTU members said Sunday night that they're still negotiating over class size, school staffing, and paraprofessional pay, Gaudiano reports. “The city has proposed a 16 percent salary increase over five years and committed in writing to providing support for oversized classes, a framework for enforceable targets on reducing class sizes first in high poverty schools, and putting one nurse and [one] social worker in every school, Lightfoot has said.” More from POLITICO.
AI IN PERSONNEL DECISIONS?: Artificial-intelligence assessments are now used commonly in industries such as hospitality and finance to help decide whether to hire a prospective worker, Drew Harwell reports for The Washington Post. More than 100 employers, including Hilton, Unilever, and Goldman Sachs, use a system developed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue that commandeers job candidates’ computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice, and speaking voice, and then assigns them an “‘employability” score. Some researchers have warned Harwell that the system “could end up penalizing nonnative speakers, visibly nervous interviewees, or anyone else who doesn’t fit the model for look and speech.”
“It’s pseudoscience. It’s a license to discriminate,” Meredith Whittaker, a co-founder of the research center the AI Now Institute, told the Post. But Loren Larsen, HireVue’s chief technology officer, said it’s “still more objective than the flawed metrics used by human recruiters.” Said Larsen: “People are rejected all the time based on how they look, their shoes, how they tucked in their shirts, and how ‘hot’ they are. Algorithms eliminate most of that in a way that hasn’t been possible before.” More from Harwell.
TRUMP PINES FOR CUCCINELLI: President Donald Trump retweeted an NPR article Tuesday about immigration hawks' frustration that the White House ruled out Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, as acting DHS head — raising the question of whether Trump will overrule his aides and choose Cuccinelli anyway.
POLITICO’s Anita Kumar and Daniel Lippman first reported Monday that Trump was notified by his staff that Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, were legally ineligible to be named acting secretary of homeland security. Instead, Trump was said to be considering others, including Chad Wolf, acting DHS undersecretary for strategy, policy, and plans, who once worked as a lobbyist on H-1B visas -- a resume that annoys immigration restrictionists inside and outside the administration. Trump could still ignore advice from staff and name Cuccinelli acting secretary, Kumar and Lippman noted, but that would likely draw an immediate legal challenge.
FIRST IN POLITICO: Senate Democrats press for answers on immigration-health care order. The ranking members of the Senate HELP and Finance Committees are asking HHS to shed light on President Donald Trump's order, set to take effect Nov. 3, requiring immigrants to prove they can obtain health insurance before they are issued a visa.
"This new action adopts the worst of the Trump administration's health care and immigration policies," Sens. Patty Murray and Ron Wyden wrote Tuesday to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "Coupled with the public charge rule … the president's policies reflect a clear intent to burden the health care and immigration systems with unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and high costs."
The senators say they want answers about the advice HHS gave regarding the new order, how it will be implemented, and whether HHS analyzed the potential impact. Trump appointees have publicly distanced HHS from the order, saying it's not part of the health department's agenda. Inside the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services insurance-market officials have worried that the order is unworkable and illegal.
A recent estimate from the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute found that two-thirds of future immigrants will be unable to obtain a visa under the policy. The letter.
AUTOMATION COULD INTENSIFY WAREHOUSE WORK: Automation won’t likely replace warehouse jobs in the next five to 10 years, but it will probably make those jobs more complicated, according to a study by University of Illinois researchers. Automation could push warehouse workers to “work harder, faster, and under more scrutiny,” writes Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary. Sensors and other tools to monitor an employee’s movements could lead to micromanagement.
“Rising productivity requirements … raise questions about the limits of the human body, and … such close scrutiny over workers’ movements could have detrimental psychological impacts,” the report states. “The assumption that streamlining processes leads in a linear fashion to greater efficiencies, and thus cost reductions, may be fundamentally flawed.”
These technological advancements may serve to limit human interaction between workers, the report says. Also, automation has the potential to de-skill workers, leading to an increase in the hiring of temporary workers, who don’t typically have the same protections or pay as full-time employees.
GALLUP SURVEY: 60 PERCENT HAVE LOUSY OR MEH JOBS: Some 16 percent of American workers reported holding a job whose quality is “bad,” according to Gallup’s 2019 Great American Jobs Survey, released today. The survey interviewed 6,600 Americans about various aspects of their jobs — pay, flexibility of hours, benefits, job security, career advancement opportunities, etc. — to assess job quality and worker satisfaction in the U.S. The answers on these topics were then translated into overall job ratings — good, mediocre, or bad.
Forty-four percent rated their jobs “mediocre” under this method, bumping up to 60 percent the proportion who rated their job either mediocre or bad. The good news is that 40 percent reported being in “good” jobs.
Job quality is closely related, unsurprisingly, to income. Respondents with higher incomes were more likely to “enjoy their day-to-day work, have a sense of purpose at work, and have the power to change things they’re not satisfied with.” Forty-eight percent said they were satisfied with their “ability to change things about their job that they’re unhappy with,” which suggests that even some people trapped in mediocre or lousy jobs don’t feel completely disempowered. The report.
MUST READ: “NBC News Chief Signed New Deal as Weinstein, Lauer Allegations Brewed,” from The Wall Street Journal
BIRTH CONTROL MANDATE UPHELD IN APPEALS COURT: A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld an injunction blocking in 14 states Trump administration rules allowing virtually any employer to deny workers birth control coverage, POLITICO’s Victoria Colliver reports. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a coalition of states led by California that the administration's policy --which would allow broad leeway for employers to claim a religious or moral objection to covering birth control-- is unconstitutional and violates the Affordable Care Act, Colliver writes. The rules were supposed to take effect in January.
Separately, a federal judge in Pennsylvania earlier this year imposed a nationwide injunction against the rules, but that’s currently being appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. More from POLITICO.
CENTRAL BANKS WORK ON DIVERSITY: Central banks want more women in monetary policy. The Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the European Central Bank held a gender equality conference Monday to figure out why there are so few women in the field and how to mitigate the problem, Jack Ewing reports for The New York Times.
“Less than one third of the Fed’s economists are women, and evidence female economists are less likely to have their research published by central banks or to be promoted, Ewing reports.
“The Fed has sought to increase its hiring of women and people from minority groups by recruiting from a wider variety of universities and looking at criteria like job experience, not just academic grades. But the Fed is still struggling to increase the number of women at senior levels.” More from the Times.
— “‘Retail vortex’: How deepening discounts and thinning profit margins could take their toll this holiday season,” from The Washington Post
—“Trump’s Asylum Ban Could Apply Retroactively to Thousands of Migrants Even Though Officials Promised It Wouldn’t,” from ProPublica
— “Autoworkers from closed plants fight new GM contract,” from The Associated Press
— “Freshman Dem Katie Hill denies improper relationship with aide,” from POLITICO
THAT’S ALL FOR MORNING SHIFT!