Thursday, May 1, 2014

Morris and the Chamber on Members-Only Unions

Blue EagleRecently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report called, The Blue Legal has Landed: The Paradigm Shift from Majority Rule to Members-Only Representation.  The title is somewhat odd because the report attacks a wide variety of issues, from workers centers to D.R. Horton, that don't seem to have much to do with members-only representation.  But, it did accomplish one goal, which was to prompt a reaction from Charles Morris, who book, Blue Eagle at Work, the Chamber's title obviously played off of.

Morris has an extensive post on his Labor Relations Blog.  I'll copy the introduction below, but the entire piece is worth a full read:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announces in the title to its recent report on union representation that “The Blue Eagle Has Landed”—referring to the “Blue Eagle At Work” (my book on members-only collective bargaining)—and it concludes that the present system of majority-union representation and collective bargaining is “giving way to a...system that allows for members-only representation.”  I appreciate such prescience in the report’s title and ill-gotten conclusion, for although the Blue Eagle has not yet landed, it is expected to land in the near future, after which American labor relations should vastly improve.  When that occurs, the original and existing purpose of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act) will certainly be more accurately realized than it has been in recent years, and this will significantly help in the rebuilding of America’s diminishing middle class.

What I don’t appreciate, however, is that in this unsigned report the Chamber disparages and inaccurately describes the process of members-only representation and bargaining and grossly misrepresents and distorts the plain language and law of the NLRA and its legislative history, which are the subjects of this blog.  I invite any Chamber attorney or attorneys with name identification to counter with documented references to specific statutory text, legislative history, and applicable cases—which will be difficult if not impossible in view of what that text, history, and those cases clearly say.  I shall indeed welcome a response.
-JH

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2014/05/morris-and-the-chamber-on-minority-unions.html

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