Ahead of a historic vote in Lansing on legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right-to-work state, Governor Rick Snyder told WWJ Newsradio 950 it’s all about freedom of choice for workers and bringing new jobs to the state. CBS Detroit reported Snyder said the Senate will pass the legislation and he plans to sign it when it reaches his desk — despite saying for the last two years that right-to-work was not on his agenda. The bottom line in passing the legislation, Snyder said, is giving workers the opportunity to join a union and pay any associated dues if they please, instead of forcing workers to pay union dues as a condition for employment. Powerful Michigan unions, including the Michigan Education Association, UAW and AFL-CIO say it’s an attempt to shut down the unions and let big businesses create lower-paying jobs. Snyder said research shows that right-to-work laws have brought new and better jobs in states where they’re enacted.
A U.S. appeals court refused to hear an expedited appeal of the preliminary approval of a $7.2 billion settlement between Visa Inc, Mastercard Inc. and merchants over credit card fees, Reuters reports. In a brief order, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied one objecting merchant, The Home Depot’s, request for expedited arguments and a decision on its appeal. The court also said all other objecting parties’ briefs on their appeals should not be filed until after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued final approval of the settlement. A hearing on final approval is expected to be scheduled for sometime next year. The deal, which received preliminary approval last month, would be the largest federal antitrust settlement in U.S. history, offering nearly 8 million merchants $7.2 billion in cash and temporary reductions in the interchange, or swipe fees, they pay to process credit and debit transactions. Many of the merchants supported the deal, but dozens of retailers and trade groups that brought the proposed class action, including The Home Depot, objected to a portion of the settlement that would release Visa and Mastercard from new legal claims over related interchange issues.
An attorney for accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes said in court on Monday he will subpoena a Fox News reporter to reveal her source for a news story about the massacre, setting up a potential First Amendment showdown. Reuters reports public defender Daniel King said he plans to subpoena New York-based correspondent Jana Winter, who days after the July 20 rampage reported Holmes had sent a notebook to a psychiatrist detailing his plans to commit mass murder. Holmes, a 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the shooting spree in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded 58. King said the story, which cited an unnamed law enforcement source, violated a gag order imposed by Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester.
The United States Attorney in Los Angeles may have dropped his investigation of Lance Armstrong earlier this year, but it looks like the Justice Department isn’t done with the disgraced cyclist just yet, the New York Post is reporting. A federal judge unsealed documents last week that say the U.S. Postal Service, which paid approximately $40 million to sponsor Armstrong and his team from 1996-2004, is investigating the cyclist for contract fraud. The Postal Service contract specifically banned doping and required the team to take “immediate action” against individuals who used substances banned by cycling’s governing bodies. The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General issued a subpoena to Armstrong for a wide range of documents in June of 2011. When Armstrong and his attorneys did not immediately comply with the subpoena, the Justice Department asked a federal judge in Washington D.C. to enforce it. The feds and lawyers for Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories after the United States Anti-Doping Agency released its explosive report on his steroid scheme in October, eventually reached an agreement for the subpoenaed documents.
American Airlines wants a quick resolution one way or another on whether to pursue a merger with US Airways Group Inc or emerge from Chapter 11 on a stand-alone basis, AMR Corp Chief Executive Tom Horton said on Monday. Now that labor contracts have been ratified by all the American Airlines unions – including by pilots last week – the carrier can work on its reorganization plan, under which it will propose emerging from Chapter 11 as either an independent carrier or as part of a merged entity, he said. US Airways made a formal merger proposal to American parent AMR and its creditors that values the combined airline at around $8.5 billion, people familiar with the matter have said. Details of that proposal emerged as the airline’s pilots voted to ratify a new union contract last week, ending a years-long labor dispute and stabilizing the carrier as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy.