Workers & Economic Inequality

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Can Scalia Save Public Sector Unions?

Ironically, one of the Supreme Court's staunchest conservatives may be the last best hope for public-sector unions. TCF fellow Moshe Marvit spoke with POLITICO about the unlikely new potential ally of public-sector unions: Justice Scalia.

In oral arguments for Harris, Scalia appeared to suggest that public-employee union activity was less about public policy and more about representing the practical needs of union members. That might not jibe with the plaintiffs' argument in Friedrichs that collective bargaining is inherently political activity for which non-union members should not be forced to pay. "Scalia comes out of more of a law and economics background," said labor lawyer Moshe Marvit, "and he definitely understands the economics of labor and the free-rider argument."

Read more at POLITICO PRO. (Note that this article is behind a paywall)

Morning Shift: Members Only

A new issue brief on members-only unions by TCF fellow Moshe Marvit and former intern Leigh Anne Schriever was included in POLITICO's Morning Shift this morning:

Marvit and Schriever examine three minority unions: the Texas Workers Alliance in San Antonio, Tex.; the Carolina Auto, Aerospace, and Machine Workers Union in Nash County, N.C.; and UE Local 601 in Grove City, Pa. Their conclusions are mixed. On the one hand, “most employers are unlikely to ever recognize a union they are not legally required to,” On the other, “to remain in existence, a members-only union must keep the membership engaged, educated, and active. The widespread use of these tactics would invariably make labor stronger.”

Read more on Marvit and Schriever's research on members-only unions in POLITICO.

Morning Shift: ‘Fair Share’ Challenge Dismissed

The federal lawsuit Bain v. California Teachers Association, which had targeted public union fair share fees, has been dismissed. TCF fellow Moshe Marvit was quoted in an announcement of the decision in POLITICO's Morning Shift.

Labor advocates did not agree, saying, in the words of In These Times’ Moshe Marvit, that the case represented “the high-water mark of perverting the First Amendment as a tool against labor.” The case will almost certainly be appealed.

Read more about the Bain case and other recent news on labor and employment policy at POLITICO.

Members-only Unions: Can They Help Revitalize Workplace Democracy?

TCF fellow Moshe Z. Marvit and Leigh Anne Schriever examine whether the members-only union model could provide a way forward for the labor movement.

Tags: unions, uaw, nlrb, nlra, labor organizing

Hillary Clinton Endorses Wage Act, Union-Backed Labor Law Reform Bill

Today, Hillary Clinton announced her support of the WAGE Act via Twitter. TCF fellow Moshe Marvit welcomed Clinton's endorsement, calling it “extraordinarily important."

Moshe Marvit, a Pittsburgh-based lawyer who co-authored a book that provided inspiration for the bill, called Clinton’s endorsement “extraordinarily important. It shows whoever wins the Democratic nomination will hold this out” as the main tool for enacting labor law reform.

Learn more about the significance of Clinton's endorsement at International Business Times.

Tags: legislation, hillary clinton, democrats, bernie sanders

Democrats Want To Make Labor Organizing Akin To A Civil Right

Today, a new bill was announced on Capitol Hill that promises to bolster protections for workers hoping to organize or join a union. The bill, entitled the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act, was introduced with much praise from pro-labor advocates. If passed, the WAGE Act will help to move our country's laws one step closer to recognizing labor organizing as a civil right, an idea first outlined in detail in the 2012 book Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right, co-authored by TCF fellows Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit.

Many of the nuts and bolts in the bill were previously laid out in a book called Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right, by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit. The book argues that the growing income inequality of recent decades can be traced to the erosion of labor unions in the U.S. Giving workers more protections under federal law, the authors write, would help restore bargaining power more generally in the economy.

Learn more about the WAGE Act announcement at the Huffington Post.

Tags: legislation, labor unions, labor organizing as a civil right, labor organizing, congress, afl-cio


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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