Yeselson: Sanders and Warren Take Aim at Taft-Hartley

Labor News

Reprinted from The American Prospect by on October 23, 2019.

“This year, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are running for president on the most pro-union and pro-worker platforms the nation has seen in decades,” writes Rich Yeselson in The American Prospect. “Their similar plans for sectoral bargaining and requiring corporations to permit their employees to elect members of their corporation’s board of directors have drawn the attention of the commentariat. But as has largely not been noticed, their plans would also shift the legal landscape that frames the balance of power between workers and employers back toward what it was in the last decade of major private-sector union growth—1937 to 1947—by repealing key provisions of the 1947 law that has played a major role in the steady decline of workers’ rights and the stagnation of their incomes.

“Sectoral bargaining and including workers on corporate boards are ideas that are new to the American economic landscape, though they’ve long been features of Germany’s more social market. They would strengthen the power of employees—but would not, in themselves, strengthen American unions. In fact, unions must grow enormously in numbers and influence in order to win the political struggle with corporate and reactionary America that will ensue over these proposals. Unions, workers, and their political supporters like Sanders and Warren are going to have to be much more militant and aggressive in order just to get to the point where sectoral bargaining and corporate representation can overcome the opposition of the most intensely anti-union corporate/political class in the advanced world. Class accords derive from class conflict. …

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TAP 10/23

About Jeffrey Burman 5208 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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