Protect Workplace Speech and Freedom to Form Unions

Video: PSN's Tim Judson on the Assault on Workers' Rights in States, 3/8/11

On March 8, 2011, Tim Judson, Progressive States Network's Workers' Rights Policy Specialist, testified at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on the the national assault on worker's rights. The full testimony is available here.

Workplace Standards for Domestic Workers: Breakthrough NY Legislation Approved

On June 1, the New York Senate put the state in position to be first in the nation to enact a Domestic Workers' Rights law (S2311) by a vote of 33-28. The New York Assembly led the way in June 2009 when it passed its own version of the bill (A1470). This groundbreaking legislation will extend core labor rights, from fair labor standards to paid sick days, to creating a framework for collective bargaining, to domestic workers. This will include those employed to work in a private home to perform housekeeping and/or to care for children, the infirm, or the elderly.

Labor Peace Law in New York Part of Trend of Promoting Labor Rights on Government Projects

On March 1st, a new law in New York goes into effect, strengthening the freedom of employees to form labor unions at hotels or convention centers run or funded by state authorities, a dramatic victory for hotel workers in the state.  The law has specific language requiring that hotels or convention centers where state public authorities have a substantial proprietary interest include a "labor peace agreement" with hotel unions in the state in exchange for the unions agreeing not to strike for five years.  The law follows a similar executive order by the Governor approved last year.

State Laws Allowing Majority Sign-up for Unions Show why Employee Free Choice Act is Fair Option for Workers

It seems relatively simple.  The proposed federal Employee Free Choice Act would give employees the freedom to form a union when a majority of workers sign cards saying that they want one, avoiding the often months of employer harassment that have inevitably accompanied traditional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election processes.

Anti-Union Front Groups Promote Distorted "Save Our Secret Ballots" Initiative Campaigns

With a new administration in Washington, D.C. promising to enact federal labor law reform for the first time in generations, corporations are plowing money into the states in an attempt to undermine workers rights there.  Calling itself the "Save Our Secret Ballot" (SOSB) coalition, this corporate effort is looking to amend the state constitutions of Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada and Utah to block workers from choosing majority sign-up rules to form unions -- a clear attempt to thwart implementation of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act which if enacted would give employees the choice of traditional elections run by the federal government or signing authorization cards by a majority of employees. 

Labor Day: How States Can Protect Workers Rights

In honor of Labor Day, we thought we would highlight some of our past Dispatches which outline steps states can take to protect workers' rights and raise wage standards. With new Census data showing that the median income for working-age households is still $1,300 below 2001 when the last recession hit bottom, the need for states to act to improve working conditions is greater than ever.

Labor Union Majority Signup Approved in OR & NH -- And States Demand the US Senate Follows Suit

This week, the Oregon Senate voted to strengthen the freedom of state public employees to form unions, joining the Oregon House in approving a bill, HB 2891, to simplify the organizing proces by having the state government recognize a union for any set of workers where a majority of them have signed cards to ask for a union.