Posts tagged Secondary boycotts

    The FTC’s Indefensible Position on Collective Bargaining

    April 19, 2023 // In remarks last week at the University of Utah School of Law, FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya argued that independent contractors should be allowed to bargain collectively. He acknowledged that courts have always treated collective bargaining by contractors as illegal under federal antitrust law. But he claimed that these courts have made a mistake: in fact, Congress never meant to stop small contractors, like truckers or plumbers, from forming a union and bargaining together. Bedoya’s interpretation would upset a century of careful balancing between antitrust and labor policy. It would also expose the contractors themselves to serious risks of abuse. And it would undermine well-established rules against collusion, price fixing, and other restraints on trade. To see why Bedoya is so wrong, you have to understand labor law and antitrust law’s tangled history. Let’s start with section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Adopted in 1890, section 1 banned all contracts and conspiracies in restraint of trade. It did not, however, define trade restraints. Instead, it incorporated common-law standards. Under the common law, unions were treated no differently from any other combination of buyers or sellers. If they conspired to fix labor prices, they violated the law. And collective bargaining could be seen as one form of price fixing. As a result, the law sometimes treated unions as, essentially, labor cartels.

    Contesting the PRO Act’s Coercive Vision

    April 1, 2022 // The Employee Rights Act presents a firm contrast with the vision outlined in the PRO Act and supported by Big Labor and its allies in Congress and the Biden administration. Where the PRO Act increases union financial coercion of workers to aid its political allies, the ERA reduces it. Where the PRO Act infringes on workers’ informed consent on union formation, the ERA protects it. Where the PRO Act limits worker privacy, the ERA expands it. Where the PRO Act fails to provide financial transparency and scrutiny in union operations, the ERA provides it. And where the PRO Act endorses Big Labor’s every-job-a-factory-job vision, the ERA promotes modern understandings of compensation and flexibility in working arrangements.

    How This Labor Department Nominee Threatens 59 Million Workers

    January 13, 2022 // Weil’s efforts to attack independent workers, would not only dampen their bright outlooks, but could put their entire livelihoods and ways of living on the line. One of the Biden administration’s and Weil’s primary goals it to implement the PRO Act—a Big Labor wish list that includes upending independent contracting.