Workers & Economic Inequality

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High court may deal unions serious blow

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case involving public sector unions. The court's decision could overturn could overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Ed., in which the Court found that fair share fees for public unions were constitutional. TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg discussed the potential consequences with Politico.

“Overturning Abood would be a huge setback for organized labor,” said Richard Kahlenberg of the liberal Century Foundation. “I think this is a way to try to crush the remaining small vibrant element of the trade union movement.”

The full article is available here.

Tags: unions, supreme court, public sector unions, labor unions, labor

Why A New Supreme Court Case Is An Existential Threat To Unions

The Supreme Court has accepted a case dealing with public-sector unions, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, for review. TCF fellow Moshe Marvit writes that the decision could have significant adverse consequences for the labor movement:

There are two issues presented to the Supreme Court in Friedrichs, both of which would significantly change the way public sector unions operate. Both issues deal with the question of what union members must pay for. The issue that is getting less attention is whether the current model—where union members who don’t wish to pay for the union’s political and other activities can opt out—is unconstitutional. The case seeks to turn the current model on its head, and require union members to opt in to such fees.

The full article is available here.

Tags: supreme court, public sector unions, labor unions, labor rights, labor

A Union of Disruptors? Meet the Uber driver trying to hack organized labor

In Pando, Dan Raile profiles an Uber driver looking to organize fellow drivers with an app and discusses the prospects for labor organizing through new forms of technology. Raile also speaks with TCF fellow Moshe Marvit, one of the authors of this month's Virtual Labor Organizing:

Marvit said that the idea behind the paper was to ask, "why doesn’t this exist?" and lay out some ideas for what virtual labor organizing could look like. A "killer app" has yet to emerge in the "labor organizing space." Though nearly all unions and labor organizations today have websites and maintain some social media presence, Marvit finds them generally lacking in functionality.

The full article is available here.

Tags: virtual labor organizing, uber, labor unions, labor rights, labor, economic inequality

Uber: Sharing or Employing?

The app-based car service company, Uber, is under scrutiny regarding its self-proclaimed status as a member of the "sharing economy."


When Charters Go Union

An article in the American Prospect by Rachel Cohen discusses unionization efforts in charter schools. She cites evidence from TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg and TCF fellow Halley Potter's A Smarter Charter that the links between unions and charter schools are older than many realize: 

In Shanker’s original vision, as Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter trace in their book A Smarter Charter, not only were charter teachers to be unionized, but union representatives were to sit on charter authorizing boards—the entities tasked with overseeing charter accountability—and all charter school proposals were to include “a plan for faculty decision-making.” In return, certain union regulations would be relaxed in order to facilitate greater experimentation.

Read the full article here.

Tags: teachers unions, labor unions, education, charter schools, a smarter charter

Alternative Labor Hits the Mainstream

The definitive form and function of traditional labor unions is eroding, causing alternative labor organizations to step in and defend the rights of workers.



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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