Minnesota Law Review

“Easy In, Easy Out”: A Future for U.S. Workplace Representation

This paper proposes an amendment to our basic labor laws that I call “easy in, easy out.” Essentially, representation elections—secret-ballot votes to decide whether employees want union representation and whether they want to be represented by the particular petitioning labor organization(s)—in relatively broad units, would, over time, become automatic. Every two years (unless the union [...]

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Trilogy Redux: Using Arbitration to Rebuild the Labor Movement

The Supreme Court is in the midst of a revolution in arbitration jurisprudence comparable to that reflected in the Steel-workers Trilogy in 1960. While the Trilogy was hailed as a major accomplishment in labor relations, the current revolution is devastating the rights of nonunion workers and consumers. The Court’s evisceration of the class action through [...]

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Labor’s Soft Means and Hard Challenges: Fundamental Discrepancies and the Promise of Non-Binding Arbitration for International Framework Agreements

Globalization has led to union decline almost universally across the world’s capitalist democracies. But despite globalization, global labor unions have been able to sign International Framework Agreements (IFAs) with more than 110 multinational corporations that cover about 9 million workers, excluding contractors and suppliers. IFAs are agreements signed by multinational firms and global labor unions. [...]

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Whither Wagner? Reconsidering Labor Law and Policy Reform

Although Canada and the United States have both adopted labor relations legal frameworks based on the Wagner model, labor relations have played out very differently in the two countries. This is particularly evident in the countries’ divergent trajectories of changing union density. In recent decades the United States has experienced a steep, sustained decline in [...]

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Less Is More: A Case for Structural Reform of the National Labor Relations Board

Historically, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has interpreted the unfair labor practice provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act) primarily through the adjudication of individual cases involving charges against employers or unions. Because control of the Board shifts back and forth with changing administrations, this process of making law [...]

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Keynote Address: The Pattern of Union Decline, Economic and Political Consequences, and the Puzzle of a Legislative Response

The Keynote Address at the Volume 98 Minnesota Law Review Symposium explores the question of the future of organized labor in the United States. -Editors of the Minnesota Law Review

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Compliance of the United States with International Labor Law

The United States is one of 185 member states of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Despite holding a permanent seat on the ILO Governing Body, the United States is a party to only 14 of the 189 labor conventions and two of eight core conventions. The United States Department of Labor declares that U.S. laws [...]

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Guns, Firms, and Zeal: Deconstructing Labor-Management Relations and U.S. Employment Policy

Jared Diamond has received wide acclaim for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book—Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies—which charts the path of human history. Professor Diamond asks why Europeans explored and dominated populations in North America and Africa, rather than the other way around, and he concludes that Europeans prevailed because of guns, germs, [...]

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Death and Taxes: The Crushing Tax Burden After a Student Loan Is Discharged Due to Death of a Student

The country is currently facing a student loan crisis, with the amount of outstanding student loan debt exceeding the amount of credit card and auto loan debt. Students, often uninformed of the intricacies in their lending options, may have the option to choose federal or private student loans. Unbeknownst to many borrowers, the Internal Revenue [...]

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Boeing, the IAM, and the NLRB: Why U.S. Labor Law Is Failing

In April 2011, the National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, issued a complaint against The Boeing Company. The complaint alleged that Boeing violated the National Labor Relations Act by shifting assembly work on its 787 Dreamliner from Everett, Washington, to North Charleston, South Carolina. According to the complaint, the company decided to [...]

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De Novo

  • Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte

    EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit.[1] Although the case presented many serious [...]

  • Revisiting Water Bankruptcy

    REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself[1]—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]

  • Defying Auer Deference

    DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.[1] The Court overturned the D.C. [...]