Labor links roundup

Last week's labor news roundup went pretty well, so I thought I'd follow up with a slight twist this week.  The labor-o-sphere has been lighting up this week, partially due to an odious NLRB ruling.  Here are a few interesting tidbits I found.  Check them out, and add any interesting essays you might have found in the comments:

  • Prof. Ellen Dannin, Professor of Law at Pennsylvania State University, posted a long and thought-provoking piece about unions and their stance towards the Wagner Act (which, together with the Taft-Hartley Act, forms the bulwark of US law related to labor organizing) and the NLRB, titled Unasked Questions and Unasked for Answers on the State of Labor Today.  The post encourages labor leaders and union activists to challenge privatization and globalization.  Drawing on her 2005 book Taking back the worker's law, Dannin also argues for a concerted litigational effort to roll back two key anti-union interpretations of labor law - striker replacement and the employer's right to impose terms if an impasse occurs during contract negotiations (called implementation-upon-impasse).  This is a fascinating post and highly recommended.  Anyone who's interested in follow-up reading should check out Taking back the worker's law.

  • Also at Workling Life, Jonathan Tasini posted about NLRB's recent decision to entertain a union-decertification petition filed shortly after the original union certification law.  This decision overthrows NLRB's longstanding precedent to allow a union certification election result to stand for a reasonable amount of time, in order to allow a union a chance to succeed in its collective bargaining efforts.  The decision, which is hard to square with the Wagner Act's unequivocal demand that the government favor collective bargaaining arrangements, could potentially make union busting even easier, and unionization yet more difficult.

  • An alert reader pointed me to CWA Votes, a website which allows members of Communications Workers of America to sound off on the presidential election and, presumably, sway the union's endorsement decision.  This reminds me of SEIU's decision to allow the membership to vote on the 2004 endorsement take a straw poll of some of its activists in order to gather input on the 2004 endorsement (resulting in the surprising Dean endorsement), and I think it's a great step. (For more on the SEIU process and general info on unions soliciting members' opinions in endorsement decisions, see this comment by user Skipster.)

  • A few tidbits of high-profile union news: UAW will negotiate its next contract with Chrysler.  I can't really say whether this is a good decision or not, but it seems to me that it might be interesting to gather opinions on this decision through some kind of web-based crowdsourcing system, like an electronic market or broad-based voting system.  Such an experiment might yield some very interesting collective wisdom (or, it could get spiked by paid company shills; hard to say.)  In other news and UNITE-HERE Tama workers have voted to end a 15-week strike and authorized a 3-year contract.

Any other tidbits?  Drop 'em in the comments!

There's more...

Why did Obama sell his Chrysler 300?

Obama came under harsh criticism for driving a large, fairly inefficient vehicle, while calling on automakers to do more to improve fuel economy in their vehicles.

The problem is.......... the Chrysler 300 got 28MPG on the highway and the Ford Escape hybrid he replaced it with only gets 27mpg on the highway

There's more...


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