The temp industry now employs 2.8 million workers – the highest number and highest proportion of the American workforce in history. The temp system insulates companies from workers’ compensation claims, unemployment taxes, union drives and the duty to ensure that their workers are citizens or legal immigrants. In turn, temp workers suffer high injury rates, wait unpaid for work to begin and face fees that depress their pay below minimum wage.
While Virginia exports of agricultural and forestry products approaching $3 billion last year is impressive, there is a downside. To a large extent, it is facilitated by geography and climate. Virginia has not positioned itself to take advantage of the bountiful harvest. Much more impressive would be sustainable jobs.
Germany on Monday dismissed a claim by NSA leaker Edward Snowden that it had bowed to U.S. demands to water down privacy rights for German citizens. Snowden told the European Parliament in a statement published Friday that Germany was pressured to modify its legislation on wiretapping and other forms of lawful telecoms surveillance. Snowden claims the NSA took advantage of different legal systems across Europe to eavesdrop on calls and emails across the continent.
Russia's Foreign Ministry on Monday denounced alleged lawlessness by far-right activists in eastern Ukraine, a statement likely to trigger alarms in Ukraine about possible Russian intervention there. Ukraine's foreign minister said Monday his country already feels like it's almost in a state of war after Russian forces took effective control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
With just three weeks left to sign up under President Barack Obama's health care law, a major survey tracking the rollout finds that the uninsured rate keeps going down. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, released Monday, found that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months — or calendar quarter— of 2013. That translates roughly to 3 million to 4 million people getting coverage.
The conservative group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "going local."