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Numerous unions taking labor actions amid ‘summer of strikes’

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Meanwhile, the 11,000-strong Writers Guild of America have been out on the picket lines in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and elsewhere since May 2.

Also, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted to authorize a strike should their own negotiations go south before their contract expires on June 30.

Legal changes around labour relations

In April, the Congress introduced the Employee Rights Act (ERA). The ERA’s stated aims are to achieve a balance between union rights, employee rights, and employer rights in labor organizing by making key changes to labor laws. It contains a number of provisions that proponents say would benefit both employers and employees, while also limiting ‘extreme’ changes in labor policy based on the composition of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

However, the Supreme Court has just passed down a decision that may challenge unions’ ability to successfully hit the picket line, according to Fast Company, citing the decision Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The court’s decision “wrests power away” from the National Labor Relations Board, it said, and makes it easier for companies to sue unions during a strike.

“Unions, because of the costs of these lawsuits and the possible liabilities, would then be afraid to go on strike and the right to strike would be severely limited,” Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University’s ILR, explained prior to the decision.

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