Reimagining Collective Rights in the Workplace
UC Irvine Law Review, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2014
17 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 5, 2015
This symposium, jointly sponsored by UC Irvine Law School and the Labor Law Group, consists of 12 papers proposing alternatives to the Wagner Act model of majority unions and workplace collective bargaining as ways to ensure decent working conditions. Taken together articles demonstrate three propositions. First, collective activism will be essential to any revitalization of labor. Each of the articles proposes different ways that law can facilitate organizing. Second, institutional design matters to whether work activism will occur and, if it occurs, whether it will be effective in improving working conditions; each article proposes different features of organizational design to facilitate organizing. Third, legal rules can make worker collectives sustainable and scalable institutions by giving them crucial roles in existing legal and political forums, by leveraging power at the local, state, and national level, by thwarting efforts to use legal doctrines like preemption or legal bureaucracies like criminal justice to eviscerate organizing gains, by improving access to information to enhance worker power, and by protecting the ability of worker collectives to raise money.
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