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.
Labor Day may celebrate the historical contributions of the American labor movement, but the future of the movement is in question. “Unions are under siege,” says labor and employment law expert Marion Crain, JD, the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. “In the public sector, governors seeking to slash budgets are de-authorizing state labor laws that govern the organizing and bargaining rights of state employees. In the private sector, both the federal legislation that supports union action and the administrative body that enforces the law are under attack. Union density is on a dramatic downswing.” At the same time, wage inequality has not been higher since the Great Depression.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s move to strip or significantly narrow his state’s public-sector workers’ collective bargaining rights has significant implications for all unionized workers, both in the public and private sector, says Marion Crain, JD, the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work & Social Capital.
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.
WarrenThe United States’ recent economic slowdown has been punctuated by some of the largest bankruptcies in history, including Enron and WorldCom. Leading academics and prominent practitioners will examine the fallout of these bankruptcies at the F. Hodge O’Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium April 2 at the Washington University School of Law.
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.