I approach this Labor Day optimistic that a broad cross-section of American workers and leaders are ready to negotiate and build a new workplace compact that reduces income inequality, restores dignity and respect for all who work, narrows the divides that separate us and ushers in a new era of sustained prosperity.
The academic community is likewise poised to play a more activist and constructive role in supporting a new workplace compact. MIT is about to issue initial findings of a ...
Mr. Sanders called his new labor plan “the strongest pro-union platform in the history of American politics.” The plan “is an important recognition of the fact that tinkering around the edges isn’t going to be enough to return power to American workers in our economy,” said Sharon Block, a former National Labor Relations Board member appointed by President Barack Obama, who is executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
While labor unions can have value, their current structure in the United States serves almost nobody well. As much as anything else, organized labor needs individuals who like Rolf not only want to organize but also see the need to be innovative in the very way that labor organizations do business.
In addition, as Harvard Law School’s Benjamin Sachs has proposed, unions should be allowed to “unbundle” their services so that they can advocate political causes without bargaining collectively. This could help give workers a...
The decline of those labor market institutions is one big reason why growth is no longer broadly shared. The institutional infrastructure of equality is in disrepair. It has to be rebuilt or created anew.
The good news is that there are plenty of good ideas about what that infrastructure needs to be. One of these is to allow workers to organize across an industry, rather than firm-by-firm. Employees in different firms could then come together to bargain with their employers, without disadvantaging any one...
What’s at stake? The transformation of work has produced two well-known problems: one, many workers can no longer rely on stable employment to provide them with benefits like retirement, vacation, or insurance, and, two, it is increasingly difficult to enforce basic laws like minimum wage and overtime pay. Although there are many ways to address these problems, putting workers in charge of the organizations that deliver benefits and conduct enforcement could ensure efficient delivery of services while building economic and political voice for working people...
What’s at stake? Historically, labor unions have been the key organization for worker voice and power, and we need legal reforms that enable us to strengthen unions. But we also need to consider legal support for other worker institutions, including organizations that represent workers outside of formal collective bargaining processes.
At this convening, we will explore the features of organizations that can build power for workers. Our exploration will include works councils, members-only unions, worker centers, organizations that address the interests of consumers and communities, and organizations that build workers’ political power. ... Read more about Clean Slate Convening on New Organizations for Worker Power
Last spring, we promised to share information about the project we’ve launched at Harvard Law School, “Rebalancing Economic and Political Power: A Clean Slate for the Future of Labor Law Reform.”
On Labor Day, we laid out our vision for this ambitious project: (1) reimagining collective bargaining; (2) expanding the range of available worker organizations; (3) ensuring that collective action leverages power; (4) using benefits and enforcement to strengthen worker organizations; (5) updating other legal regimes to empower workers; and (6) addressing persistent, historical inequities that have plagued the labor movement.... Read more about Clean Slate Update
Many major employers, including other tech companies that have done away with mandatory clauses on harassment, maintain arbitration agreements for most wage-and-hour and discrimination claims. The use of arbitration clauses to handle employment claims is becoming more prevalent in the workplace, sources told Bloomberg Law.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys and worker advocates are hoping employers will end the practice for all employment claims, saying it’s especially harmful for low-wage workers.