A Narrow Preemption Exception
Sharon Block. 10/23/2017. “A Narrow Preemption Exception.” onlabor.org. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In Airline Service Providers Association v. City of Los Angeles, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the contractors’ complaint, finding that the city’s contract clause was not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, even though it clearly constituted a local government influencing the bargaining process between a private sector actor and the collective bargaining representative of its employees.  The court found such influence or interference tolerable by a municipal actor because it determined that the city was acting as a “market participant” not as a “regulator”.
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Time to Aim Higher for Workers’ Rights

October 12, 2017

in OnLabor.org

"Labor activists must aim much higher if we are to push through the severe structural obstacles that limit organizing in the US. And now is the time as workers’ rights in the US are at a 100 year low and sinking at both the national and state level. "..."In a symposium  hosted at Harvard, Sharon Block and Ben Sachs asked, “Is it time to end preemption?”   In recent years, partly because of NLRA reform failure, there have been many successful campaigns to pass higher state and local government minimum wages since the national law (FLSA) does not preempt state or local action as long as the federal floor is maintained."

2017 Oct 16

Whose Fair Share: Opportunity and Inclusion in the Sharing Economy

5:00pm to 7:00pm


Wasserstein Hall, Milstein 2036 East C, Harvard Law School

Held by Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Harvard Law School

This event will be the first of a series of events focusing on equity and inclusion in the sharing economy and the modern, technology-based economy more broadly. This first event will focus on barriers to participation and will include representatives from major sharing economy businesses, such as Lyft and Airbnb, as well as academics, activists and students. Sharon Block, LWP Executive Director will participate on a panel.

Free and open to the public: [RSVP and more information]

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How Unions Are Already Gearing Up for a Supreme Court Loss

October 5, 2017


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will add a case critical to the future of public-sector unions to its docket. "If the Supreme Court rules that making agency fees mandatory is unconstitutional, unions in those states fear the loss of revenue from existing nonunion members and the loss of more members, who could quit unions if granted the right to avoid the paycheck deduction. Such a scenario would weaken unions' bargaining power and their political clout."

“It is an enormously big deal,” says Harvard law professor Benjamin Sachs, who often writes about labor issues. “Unions have to provide services and representation equally to everyone in a bargaining unit. But if you can get those services for free, a lot of people won’t pay them. You have a classic free-rider situation.”... Read more about How Unions Are Already Gearing Up for a Supreme Court Loss

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The Supreme Court Could Prevent Millions of Workers From Suing Their Employers

October 2, 2017

Mother Jones

"On Monday, the Supreme Court opened its fall term with National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, and two similar cases, that will determine whether companies can force workers like Hobson to sign away their right to file collective suits. The decision in the cases, which were heard jointly, has the potential to push millions more workers into individual arbitration hearings that lack many of the protections of the US legal system."

"Sharon Block, the director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program and a former NLRB board member, is concerned that Murphy Oil could be used to stamp out other workplace rights."

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Harvard Hopes Trump Will Help It Undermine Unions

September 14, 2017

By John Trumpbour and Chris Tilly

"Harvard appears to be banking on Trump appointees to the Labor Board to help fight off graduate student unionization. But Harvard’s going the extra mile in seeking to undermine all unions’ right to an accurate list of employees during a union election campaign."

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University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas: India uncovered

September 19, 2017
India and the paradoxes of global capitalism
by John Trumpbour
John Trumpbour, Research Director of the Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, discusses the challenges India faces in terms of 21st Century modernity and as it is poised to have the largest population in the world.
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Re-thinking the capital code

September 12, 2017

Op-ed by Thomas Piketty 
in LeMonde

What should we think of the reform of the Labour Code defended by the government?   Isabelle Ferreras, LWP Senior Research Associate,  has defended the idea of genuine bicameralism in firms with shareholders’ councils and worker’s councils being obliged to agree and to adopt the same strategic texts and decisions.... Read more about Re-thinking the capital code

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Emerald Publishing names eminent economist team to edit new journal, The Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership

September 19, 2017

 In what is a coup for Emerald Publishing, the newly launched Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership (JPEO) will be edited by Richard B. Freeman, holder of the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University, and Takao Kato, W.S. Schupf Professor of Economics and Far Eastern Studies at Colgate University.

JPEO is the first leading forum for new economics of participation, economic analysis of new participatory work practices and shared capitalism. It is the only mainstream journal for rigorous research on shared capitalism, employee ownership, profit sharing, gainsharing, and broad-based stock option.

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Labor union for veterinary workforce makes national push: Associates, technicians, support staff would be represented

September 21, 2017

By: Lisa Wogan
The VIN News Service 

Richard Freeman was referenced in article  about veterinary personnel looking to organize. it’s about more than wages, Hughston said. “We’re talking about things like work/life balance, like respecting professional boundaries, like making sure we have safe procedures and protocols in place, that we have safe levels of staffing,” she said.


Why Resident Advisers could benefit from a union

September 11, 2017

By Paige Szmodis, member of the AFSCME Union Scholars Program attending URSINUS COLLEGE
"Collective student power can ensure that students can have a voice when negotiating with people in administrative positions. Students should have an opportunity to join together, ask questions, and put forth a document that allows them to decide what working conditions are reasonable, safe and healthy. Contracts serve as a reference point if things go wrong or when power has been abused."