Tuesday, July 23, 2013
According to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), a new type of nonprofit entity is being used to mobilize workers to form unions and support employees. The story explains that unions often support the formation of these “worker centers,” which build community support for organizing laborers by offering language classes, helping workers with wage claims, and even lobbying lawmakers on their behalf. Operated properly, they reportedly fall short of qualifying as "labor organizations" because they have no continuing bargaining relationship with employers, thereby freeing them from constraints imposed by national labor laws. According to the story, more than 200 worker centers now exist in the United States, and they have been effective in assisting immigrants, domestic workers, day laborers and taxi drivers.