Technology Has Made Labor Laws Obsolete, Experts Say

In the 1930s, at the time of the writing of the Wagner Act—the law which grants workers the right to form unions and collectively bargain— union organizing took place during shift changes on factory floors and over beers in union halls. The law protected workers from retaliation for this type of in-real-life organizing, and it still does. But times have changed, and often the only points of contact for workers at any given company are email, Slack, and Facebook groups. Today, it’s difficult, even dangerous, to organize when you don’t know who is lurking in your emails or secretly spying on your social media groups. In a new report “Clean Slate for Worker Power,” released last Thursday by Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife program, experts argue that U.S. labor law is obsolete and in need of a massive overhaul to meet the needs of workers organizing in modern times. The report is a list of recommendations compiled by more than 70 labor leaders, scholars, and activists that they believe would make it drastically easier for any worker to join a union.

Read the full article in Vice.