The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a government agency tasked with enforcing federal labor law and protecting workers’ rights to collectively bargain, is in danger of being rendered unable to function if the President and the Senate cannot come to an agreement on staffing issues by late August, according to Time. With labor union participation having declined to 11.3 percent over the last decade, the fall of the NLRB couldn’t come at a worse time for the nation’s working men and women.
However, according to recent polling from Gallup and Pew, 55 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of unions, which is the most since before the financial crisis. The slowly improving economy has been tabbed as one of the reasons for the rise in support for labor unions. Another is that the economy’s improvement has led to corporate owners taking a larger share of the national income, while the incomes of their workers stagnate.
Still, there are differing views as to whether or not the reemergence of unions would help or hurt the plight of today’s workers. Some believe that the decline of the union spurred competition in the private sector, allowing private businesses and the US economy to flourish over the latter part of the last century. Others believe unions do not impede competition or economic growth, but instead only assist the labor force in protecting their workplace rights and collecting their fair share of the profits from corporations that are constantly trying to skirt labor protections.
Do you believe unions should make a comeback?
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment lawyers