New legislation designed to reverse a decades-long decline in worker’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act could play a critical role in reducing the growing income gap between rich and poor in America, according to the recent congressional testimony of a sociologist from Washington University in St. Louis.
The Brown School’s Michael Sherraden and the School of Law’s Marion G. Crain, co-authors of the new book “Working and Living in the Shadow of Economic Fragility,” were in Washington, D.C., May 28 at the New America Foundation for a webcast presentation that Crain called “a chance for scholars to talk to the world.” U.S. economic policies have failed to restore full employment and in some ways have made labor market conditions worse for many Americans, they said.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Marion Crain, JD, the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law at Washington University In St. Louis, looks at the act’s history and says changes in the American workplace and other factors raise the question of how the NLRA will adapt in the future.
“The recent strikes by grocery workers in Missouri, California and West Virginia are indicative of a general economic dissatisfaction that could potentially expand into a broader confrontation between labor and management,” says Neil Bernstein, an expert in labor law and legal issues relating to striking workers and a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, is closely following the grocery strikes.
Though the labor unions have agreed to concession plans and new CEO, Gerard J. Arpey, is in place, the future of American Airlines still remains uncertain. Besides American Airlines’ looming financial issues, the company may have continuing labor problems. Neil N. Bernstein, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in labor law, is available to comment.