Huge Win for Workers and Their Right to Unionize (Link)

Workers will now be able to unionize more easily. Today, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) expanded the joint-employer standard.

The new standard specifically targets companies that provide contract workers, the upstream company, as joint-employers along with the company that hires and supervises the contract workers. Likewise, the new standard is expected to help workers in franchise businesses, like fast-food restaurants and hotel chains, to more freely organize unions.


Why is Thursday’s ruling bad news for McDonald’s? “If a fast-food brand or a hotel chain can be deemed a ‘joint employer’ along with the smaller company, it can be dragged into labor disputes and negotiations that it conveniently wouldn’t have to worry about otherwise,” one journalist explained. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

Striking Fear Into Corporate Hearts, Labor Board Hands Big Win to Workers (Link)

In what is being described as “one of the biggest labor decisions of the Obama administration,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday expanded its “joint-employer” standard, paving the way for unions to organize on a much broader scale—and striking fear into the hearts of corporations that have used previous labor laws to shift workplace responsibilities elsewhere. ~ Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams


About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • Personally I would be a whole lot happier to see the Taft Hartley Act repealed and the NLRB abolished. The US Constitution has always upheld the sanctity of the contract – with the exception of contracts workers enter into with their employers. In this case, the Taft Hartley Act allows the government to interfere (via NLRB) with workers rights to collectively bargain.

    • I don’t have the background to quite follow what you are saying. But it sounds like there could be a better, simpler way to protect workers. If you have a chance, could you please add a few words? Or perhaps share a link? Thanks, Doctor Bramhall, I always appreciate your knowledge and insights.

      • The National Labor Relations Board was created by the Taft Hartley Act, which was rammed through by a Republican Congress in 1947 to reverse union gains achieved during the Depression. No other industrialized country has such a law that enables the government to dictate to unions (through the NLRB) how they can organize, collectively bargain or carry out strikes. Taft Hartley severely restricts worksite unionization drives, as well as prohibiting mass picketing and wildcat and sit down strikes. Sit down strikes were the most effective tool in organizing the CIO during the Depression. And like I say, no other industrialized countries suppress unions to this extent. This is more typical of banana republics.

        The effect of Taft Hartley on union membership was almost immediate. In 1946 the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) had 6.3 million members. By 1954, when it merged with the AFL, this number was down to 4.6 million or 34.7% of the American workforce.


      • Read the article. The wealthy elite calls the shots. They patiently layer propaganda and laws for many, many years. It’s so hard for ordinary people to see the big picture, especially over time. We are like the proverbial lobster in a pot of water heating to the boil.

  • Interesting that such a pro labour development is happening in the USA, the Mecca of free market capitalism. Politically savvy, as the move is well timed by democrats given the upcoming presidential election. Be that as it may, it will be ideal if the development will usher in greater responsibility on the part of managements and workers towards equitable wages and higher productivity, in due realisation that one cannot exist without the other.

    • Maybe it’s the pendulum swinging back toward workers. Like you suggest, balance is everything.

      When I was young, I thought the best U.S. party was a switch every 8 years. The Republicans take care of businesses, the pendulum swings, then Democrats take care of people/workers, a swing back, and so on. That’s why I’ve always been independent.

      That natural back and forth has stalled (corruption, corporate interests). But the people are on the move again. Leaders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are helping Americans feel confident enough to stand up for themselves.

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