Two New Issue Briefs Address Attacks on Workers’ Rights

June 7, 2011

With attacks on workers’ rights proliferating both at the state and national level, ACS released two new Issue Briefs today on the critical importance of strong laws that protect workers.

In “No Rights Without a Remedy: The Long Struggle for Effective National Labor Relations Act Remedies,” Penn State Dickinson School of Law professor Ellen Dannin responds to recent allegations that the National Labor Relations Board improperly allowed a workers’ rights complaint against Boeing to go forward, asserting instead that the National Labor Relations Act contains broad workers’ rights guarantees. Dannin writes: 

At a moment when the NLRB is being inaccurately criticized for being overly expansive in its decision to issue a complaint against Boeing, I argue that the problem is not that the NLRA is being interpreted too expansively, but rather the opposite—for too long, the Act has been interpreted in a manner that robs it of the flexibility and robust array of remedies intended by those who passed this landmark legislation. 

A second Issue Brief, “The Assault on Public Sector Collective Bargaining: Real Harms and Imaginary Benefits,” addresses attempts by state lawmakers, such as those in Wisconsin and Ohio, to gut collective bargaining laws.

“The radical and reactionary amendments to public sector statutes some states have adopted will thus not help budgets, but they will hurt working people and public services,” writes University of Toledo College of Law School Professor Joseph E. Slater.

He continues:

And of course, when public workers are harmed, the general public is harmed . . . . The attacks on collective bargaining are best understood as partisan politics, and that is no justification for removing a longstanding, important right for working men and women.

Both Issue Briefs are available here.

During the ACS Tenth Anniversary National Convention next week, a panel of experts will examine challenges to workers rights in a panel discussion entitled, “Privatization, the American Worker, and the Role of Government.” See the ACS 2011 Convention Web page for information about that panel, as well the entire schedule of events.