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The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century
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Book description

Over the last fifty years in the United States, unions have been in deep decline, while income and wealth inequality have grown. In this timely work, editors Richard Bales and Charlotte Garden - with a roster of thirty-five leading labor scholars - analyze these trends and show how they are linked. Designed to appeal to those being introduced to the field as well as experts seeking new insights, this book demonstrates how federal labor law is failing today's workers and disempowering unions; how union jobs pay better than nonunion jobs and help to increase the wages of even nonunion workers; and how, when union jobs vanish, the wage premium also vanishes. At the same time, the book offers a range of solutions, from the radical, such as a complete overhaul of federal labor law, to the incremental, including reforms that could be undertaken by federal agencies on their own.


'Charlotte Garden and Rick Bales have brought together an impressive group of experts to provide a comprehensive look at how our labor laws could and should be strengthened to give workers more collective bargaining power. This book is a valuable contribution to the public debate around a critically important issue at a critically important time.'

Lynn Rhineheart - Economic Policy Institute, and former general counsel, AFL-CIO

'At a time of increasing income inequality and declining union power, this much-needed volume provides many smart and provocative ideas on how to overhaul our nation’s labor laws in order to strengthen unions, increase worker power, and, most important, lift America’s more than 150 million workers. In this book, a who’s who of labor experts provide one thoughtful essay after another on many of the key issues that unions and workers face today.'

Steven Greenhouse - long-time labor journalist and author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor

'In a year of teacher strikes for the public good, private-sector flight attendants standing strong on behalf of locked-out federal workers, and New York state farmworkers just winning a century-long struggle for collective bargaining rights, this book is exceptionally timely and relevant. Richard Bates and Charlotte Garden have chosen an outstanding group of scholars who are refreshingly forward-looking while still being grounded in the daily reality faced by workers and unions.'

Kate Bronfenbrenner - Cornell University

'The Cambridge Handbook of US Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century is an important resource. It provides a range of opinion and is rich in thought-provoking ideas. It should soon be on the bookshelves of practitioners, scholars, policy makers, and activists - indeed, anyone interested in labor law and policy, worker rights and activism, unions and employers, collective bargaining, economic fairness, and democracy.'

Wilma B. Liebman - former chairman, National Labor Relations Board, and professor, author, and advisor on labor law and workplace policy

‘The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century represents a highly valuable tool for both the scholars and the practicing lawyers to address practical issues and de lege ferenda policies surveying a wide range of topics in a synthetic and clear way, whose analysis is frequently neglected or underestimated by most.’

Prof. Dr Andrea Borroni Source: Contemporary Labour Law Review

‘The Handbook of US Labor Law for the Twenty-First Century performs several valuable roles: it is a primer on the current state of the organized labor movement and on the economic, political, social, and cultural consequences of its weakness … In assembling such a large and diverse group of contributors, the Handbook can realistically claim to represent the best of what is on offer in addressing all of these crucial topics for discussion and action.’

Christopher Tomlins Source: Law & Social Inquiry

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