Lechmere: The Employer’s “Right” to Keep Employees Isolated and Uninformed

Source: Ellen Dannin and Ann C Hodges, Truthout, June 27, 2013

There was a time when slaves and indentured servants in America were owned and rented. Slavery was eventually abolished by the 13th amendment to the Constitution, and in 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) gave workers rights to join together to bargain about their working conditions. But what if an employer could block its employees from hearing about the advantages of collective bargaining?

The 1991 Lechmere case allowed employers to do just that by judicially amending the NLRA to make it impossible for employees to learn about the advantages of joining a union….

This is the eleventh article in the Judicial Amendment Project series on the history of the National Labor Relations Act. The stories in the series to date include:

1. Why Today the National Labor Relations Act Is a Weak Law – and How We Can Restore its Power 28 March 2013

2. Judicial Amendments and the Attack on Worker Rights 4 April 2013

3. Solidarity NOT Forever: How the Supreme Court Kicked Retirees Into the Gutter 11 April 2013

4. Strike and You’re Out: The Supreme Court’s Destruction of the Right to Strike

5. A Strike Is a Strike and Only a Strike

6. At an Impasse: Collective Bargaining Under the Judicial Amendments

7. The Supreme Court Empowers Employers to Lock Out Workers

8. The Judicial Amendments’ 1-2-3-4 Punch to Collective Bargaining

9. Extra! Extra! Rich Corp Execs Shut Down the NLRB! Then and Now

10. The Dues and Don’ts of Union Dues

11. How Conservative Interest Groups Are Reducing Unions’ Financial Resources