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Labor and Employment Law

University of Michigan Law School

National Labor Relations Act

Articles 1 - 19 of 19

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The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias Mar 2018

The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias

Articles

As Parts I and II of this Essay elaborate, the examination yields three observations of relevance to constitutional law more generally: First, judge-made constitutional doctrine, though by no means the primary cause of rising inequality, has played an important role in reinforcing and exacerbating it. Judges have acquiesced to legislatively structured economic inequality, while also restricting the ability of legislatures to remedy it. Second, while economic inequality has become a cause célèbre only in the last few years, much of the constitutional doctrine that has contributed to its flourishing is longstanding. Moreover, for several decades, even the Court’s more ...


Social Bargaining In States And Cities: Toward A More Egalitarian And Democratic Workplace Law, Kate Andrias Sep 2017

Social Bargaining In States And Cities: Toward A More Egalitarian And Democratic Workplace Law, Kate Andrias

Articles

A well-documented problem motivates this symposium: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not effectively protect workers’ rights to organize, bargain, and strike. Though unions once represented a third of American workers, today the vast majority of workers are non-union and employed “at will.” The decline of organization among workers is a key factor contributing to the rise of economic and political inequality in American society. Yet reforming labor law at the federal level—at least in a progressive direction—is currently impossible. Meanwhile, broad preemption doctrine means that states and localities are significantly limited in their ability to address ...


The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias Oct 2016

The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias

Articles

Labor law is failing. Disfigured by courts, attacked by employers, and rendered inapt by a global and fissured economy, many of labor law’s most ardent proponents have abandoned it altogether. And for good reason: the law that governs collective organization and bargaining among workers has little to offer those it purports to protect. Several scholars have suggested ways to breathe new life into the old regime, yet their proposals do not solve the basic problem. Labor law developed for the New Deal does not provide solutions to today’s inequities. But all hope is not lost. From the remnants ...


The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2009

The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

In many respects the US is a deeply conservative country. Unique among the major industrial democracies of the world, it imposes the death penalty, provides no national health insurance, fixes a high legal drinking age, and subscribes to the doctrine of employment at will. Perhaps not surprisingly, its labor movement is also one of the most conservative on earth, eschewing class warfare and aiming largely at the bread-and-butter goal of improved wages, benefits, and working conditions. Yet American employers have generally never been as accepting of unionization as their counterparts in other countries (Bok 1971; Freeman and Medoff 1984). Over ...


After 70 Years Of The Nlrb: Warm Congratulations -- And A Few Reservations, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2005

After 70 Years Of The Nlrb: Warm Congratulations -- And A Few Reservations, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The following essay is based on a talk the speaker was invited to deliver to the National Labor Relations Board on June 3 in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the agency's 70th anniversary.


Labor And Employment Law In Two Transitional Decades, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2004

Labor And Employment Law In Two Transitional Decades, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Labor law became labor and employment law during the past several decades. The connotation of "labor law" is the regulation of union-management relations and that was the focus from the 1930s through the 1950s. In turn, voluntary collective bargaining was supposed to be the method best suited for setting the terms and conditions of employment for the nation's work force. Since the 1960s, however, the trend has been toward more governmental intervention to ensure nondiscrimination, safety and health, pensions and other fringe benefits, and so on. "Employment law" is now the term for the direct federal or state regulation ...


How The Wagner Act Came To Be: A Prospectus, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1998

How The Wagner Act Came To Be: A Prospectus, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The Wagner Act of 1935, the original National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), has been called "perhaps the most radical piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress."' But Supreme Court interpretations supposedly frustrated the utopian aspirations for a radical restructuring of the workplace." Similarly, according to another commentator, unnecessary language in one of the Court's earliest NLRA cases "drastically undercut the new act's protection of the critical right to strike."'


Prevention Of Antiunion Discrimination In The United States, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1988

Prevention Of Antiunion Discrimination In The United States, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Nearly all rank-and-file employees in private businesses of any substantial size in the United States are protected by federal law against antiunion discrimination. The Railway Labor Act applies to the railroad and airline industries. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to all other businesses whose operations "affect [interstate] commerce" in almost any way. Supervisory and managerial personnel, domestic servants, and agricultural workers are excluded from this federal scheme. Separate federal law covers the employees of the federal government. About thirty of the fifty states have statutes ensuring the right to organize on the part of some or most of ...


Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1986

Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Bernard Meltzer has testified under oath that he "rarely take[s] absolute positions." The record bears him out. While his colleagues among labor law scholars often strain to demonstrate that the labor relations statutes and even the Constitution support their hearts' desires, the typical Meltzer stance is one of cool detachment, pragmatic assessment, and cautious, balanced judgment. The "itch to do good," Meltzer has remarked wryly, "is a doubtful basis for jurisdiction" -or, he would likely add, for any other legal conclusion. In this brief commentary I propose to examine the Meltzer approach to four broad areas of labor law ...


The Wagner Act: Labor Law's Signal Event, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1985

The Wagner Act: Labor Law's Signal Event, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

There's no fun in stating the obvious. Sophisticated professionals bestow few kudos on those who declaim the conventional wisdom. Even so, one would have to be far more perverse than I, in this fiftieth anniversary year of the National Labor Relations Act, to suggest that the Wagner Act, wasn't the most important (and at the time of it- passage the most controversial) development in the last half-century of labor law.


Federal Regulation Of The Workplace In The Next Half Century, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1985

Federal Regulation Of The Workplace In The Next Half Century, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Even the general circulation press, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to Business Week, has taken to examining the current malaise of the labor movement and the increased emphasis upon ensuring the safety, health, and economic security of employees through direct governmental regulation rather than through collective bargaining. What accounts for this upsurge of scholarly and popular interest in labor relations and labor law? There are undoubtedly multiple causes but I should like to focus on a couple of reasons that seem preeminent to me.


Legal Barriers To Worker Participation In Management Decision Making, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1984

Legal Barriers To Worker Participation In Management Decision Making, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Collective bargaining lies at the heart of the union-management relationship. It is the end and purpose of the whole effort to protect employees against reprisals when they form an organization to represent them in dealing with their employers. Collective bargaining is grounded in the belief that industrial strife will be checked, and the workers' lot bettered, if workers are given an effective voice in determining the conditions of their employment. My thesis is that federal law, even while placing the force of government behind collective bargaining, has so artificially confined its scope that the process has been seriously impeded from ...


The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White Jan 1984

The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White

Articles

Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act authorizes one in bankruptcy to "assume or reject any executory contract ...of the debtor." The most frequent use of the section arises when a lessee goes into Chapter 11 and decides either to reject its real estate lease with its lessor or, if the lease is at a favorable rental rate, to assume it and assign it to another. A less frequent but more controversial use of section 365 is to reject one's collective bargaining agreement with his employees.


The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1982

The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

This year completes exactly a half century in the federalization and codification of American labor law. Before that the regulation of both the internal affairs and external relations of labor organizations was left largely to the individual states, usually through the application of common or nonstatutory law by the courts. One major exception was the railroad industry, whose patent importance to interstate commerce made it an acceptable subject for federal legislation like the Railway Labor Act.


Connell: Antitrust Law At The Expense Of Labor Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1976

Connell: Antitrust Law At The Expense Of Labor Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

From the outset, the difficulty in applying the antitrust concept to organized labor has been that the two are intrinsically incompatible. The antitrust laws are designed to promote competition, and unions, avowedly and unabashedly, are designed to limit it. According to classical trade union theory, the objective is the elimination of wage competition among all employees doing the same job in the same industry. Logically extended, the policy against restraint of trade must condemn the very existence of labor organizations, since their minimum aim has always been the suppression of any inclination on the part of working people to offer ...


Judicial Caution And The Supreme Court's Labor Decisions, October Term 1971, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1973

Judicial Caution And The Supreme Court's Labor Decisions, October Term 1971, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Labor law, like most other law in the making, is intensely political at its margins. On certain central themes, such as the right to join a union and freedom of contract, judges and administrators of widely varying outlooks may be able to reach a consensus. But along the frontiers of the law, no such accord can be expected. Conscientious decision-makers will inevitably differ with one another, depending on their diverse social values. They may even differ with their own prior positions, depending on shifts in the political climate. Moreover, if the decision-makers happen to be justices of the United States ...


Secondary Boycott: From Antitrust To Labor Relations, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1971

Secondary Boycott: From Antitrust To Labor Relations, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The ethos of the labor movement cuts against the American grain at several points. Our national instinct, reflected in many statutes and much judge-made law, is to exalt the rugged individualist over the anonymous group, to favor wide-open competition rather than a controlled market, and to prize the right of each person to remain aloof from the quarrels and concerns of his neighbors. It is not for nothing that our most universal folk hero is the frontiersman, who proudly stands alone and self-sufficient. Yet the ordinary workingman does not have the capacity to assume that heroic stance. For him strength ...


Judicial Valour And The Warren Court's Labor Decisions, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1968

Judicial Valour And The Warren Court's Labor Decisions, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Lawyers who practice regularly before the Supreme Court are likely to prepare their arguments with a specific Justice in mind. The choice does not necessarily turn on who might be the swing vote in a given case. Often it is just a matter of which Justice can be relied upon, because of his particular interests and his insight, to search out the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing positions, and to see that all the hard questions are asked. In a labor case during the early years of the Warren Court, that would usually have meant Justice Frankfurter. Later on ...


A Touchstone For Labor Board Remedies, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1968

A Touchstone For Labor Board Remedies, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Fashion dictates what lawyers argue about, and law professors write about, more than we may care to admit. In labor law, especially, the styles change with a rapidity that would impress a Paris couturier. During the past decade the spotlight has moved from union democracy to labor contract enforcement to the union organizing campaign. Today the "in" topic is National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) remedies. Yet if any subject deserves immunity from the vagaries of fashion, this is the one; for all rights acquire substance only insofar as they are backed by effective remedies. Coke said it long ago: "[W ...