Public Sector Labor Law in the Age of Obama
Joseph E. Slater
University of Toledo College of Law
August 1, 2011
Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 1, 2012
University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-03
The attacks on public sector collective bargaining rights during the past year have arguably been the most important development in U.S. labor and employment law in recent memory. While the most famous and radical moves took place in Wisconsin and Ohio, over a dozen states have enacted significant restrictions on the rights of government employees and their unions. This is important, not least because public sector workers now comprise more than half the total number of union members in the U.S., and because of the broader political implications of “defunding” and otherwise crippling a major constituent of the Democratic Party.
This article, based on a symposium paper, discusses not only these developments but also other key events in public sector labor relations in recent years: the battle for collective bargaining rights at the Transportation Safety Administration; and recent cases interpreting a 2007 decision of the Missouri Supreme Court which held that the Missouri Constitution provided a right to collective bargaining for all public employees in the state (without defining what that right specifically entails).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Labor, public sector labor, politics, state constitution
JEL Classification: J50, J58Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 27, 2012
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