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Derailing Union Democracy: Why Deregulation Would Be a Mistake

12 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2010  

Michael J. Goldberg

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: 2002


This article is a response to Prof. Samuel Estreicher’s article, Deregulating Union Democracy, 21 J. LAB. RES. 247 (2000). It argues against Estreicher’s call for the deregulation of internal union affairs by repealing the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 on several grounds. First, it disputes some of Estreicher’s basic assumptions about the nature and effectiveness of union democracy legislation, in part because Estreicher views unions strictly as economic entities and overlooks their important political and social functions, and in part because he is mistaken when he dismisses the current scheme of regulating internal union affairs as completely ineffectual. Second, the article criticizes Estreicher’s proposal for new and different ways of providing workplace representation, arguing that without democratic safeguards such as protection for the freedom of speech of workers represented under these new forms of workplace representation, access to information, and effective protection against retaliation, the employee voting opportunities on which Estreicher’s plan is based would provide the appearance of democracy without the reality.

Keywords: union democracry, labor law, labor unions,

JEL Classification: J51, K31

Suggested Citation

Goldberg, Michael J., Derailing Union Democracy: Why Deregulation Would Be a Mistake (2002). Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 23, 2002. Available at SSRN:

Michael J. Goldberg (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302-477-2712 (Phone)

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