The Blue Eagle at Work: Reclaiming Democratic Rights in the American Workplace (Hardback)
  • The Blue Eagle at Work: Reclaiming Democratic Rights in the American Workplace (Hardback)

The Blue Eagle at Work: Reclaiming Democratic Rights in the American Workplace (Hardback)

(author), (foreword)
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 15/12/2004
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In The Blue Eagle at Work, Charles J. Morris, a renowned labor law scholar and preeminent authority on the National Labor Relations Act, uncovers a long-forgotten feature of that act that offers an exciting new approach to the revitalization of the American labor movement and the institution of collective bargaining. He convincingly demonstrates that in private-sector nonunion workplaces, the Act guarantees that employees have a viable right to engage in collective bargaining through a minority union on a members-only basis. As a result of this startling breakthrough, American labor relations may never again be the same. Morris's underlying thesis is based on a meticulous analysis of statutory and decisional law and exhaustive historical research.

Morris recounts the little-known history of union organizing and bargaining through members-only minority unions that prevailed widely both before and after passage of the 1935 Wagner Act. He explains how vintage language in the statute continues to protect minority-union bargaining today and how those rights are also guaranteed under the First Amendment and by international law to which the United States is a committed party. In addition, the book supplies detailed guidelines illustrating how this rediscovered workers' right could stimulate the development of new procedures for union organizing and bargaining and how management will likely respond to such efforts.

The Blue Eagle at Work, which is clear and accessible to general readers as well as specialists, is an essential tool for labor-union officials and organizers, human-resource professionals in management, attorneys practicing in the field of labor and employment law, teachers and students of labor law and industrial relations, and concerned workers and managers who desire to understand the law that governs their relationship.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801443176
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 25 mm

"Morris concludes that employees in a workplace where there is no exclusive-majority representative never lost their right to minority-union representation; that a minority union is automatically 'entitled to recognition and bargaining on behalf of its employee members'; and-here is the kicker-that 'an employer who refuses such recognition and bargaining is committing an unfair labor practice.' Moreover, an employer who refuses a minority union's request for recognition and bargaining on behalf of its 'members only' could be legally picketed, provided such picketing disclaimed any organizational purpose. Best of all, by asserting minority union representative, employees can claim-in Morris' view-a level of legal protection not available to union activists in typical organizing campaigns."-Andy Zipser, The Guild Reporter, 11 February 2005
"This book contains nothing less then a blue print of how unions can be organized under current hostile legal conditions, using the original intentions of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. . . . The current discussion on how to reverse labor's decline has been given new life by Morris' book. It provides us with an articulate description of existing legal rights we didn't know we had and a new way that workers can follow to organize their own union without the frustrating experience of an NLRB election procedure."-David Cohen,
"The careful and expert 'journey of legal rediscovery' Charles Morris provides in The Blue Eagle at Work starts the overdue process of restoring voice to the millions of American workers who want and need it. The Blue Eagle might just fly again!"-Thomas A. Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management
"The Blue Eagle at Work combines the creativity and expertise that have marked Charles Morris's lifelong commitment to working people, to social justice, and to legal scholarship. His new book provides penetrating insights into the origins of U.S. law on workers' freedom of association and the still-prevailing legal protection for workers acting together, whether or not they are a majority in the workplace. Morris has painstakingly brought back to life long-dormant principles and effective legal theories for advancing workers' rights. Trade unionists, labor educators, and other worker advocates seeking innovative ideas for workplace action and organizing should start their new day with The Blue Eagle at Work."-Lance Compa, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
"Charles J. Morris has produced a book of exceptional merit. It is truly original, well written, and well reasoned. It takes a giant step beyond other books by arguing not only for protected concerted action for minority unions but also for the more formal step of recognition and actual collective bargaining between an employer and a minority union."-Hoyt Wheeler, author of The Future of the American Labor Movement
"The Blue Eagle at Work deals with an issue critical to the survival of private-sector labor organizations in the United States. In it, Charles J. Morris has taken a long-forgotten topic and brought it to life. Morris presents a cogent and analytical framework to support his underlying thesis in favor of minority union bargaining rights. He has looked at different legal and philosophical ideas to support his assertion and done so in such a persuasive manner that he was able to convince me despite my initial skepticism."-Charles B. Craver, George Washington University Law School
"In an effort to explain how federal labor law has come to its present highly unsatisfactory state, Charles J. Morris has undertaken a scholarly historical inquiry into a neglected facet of labor law and labor relations-collective bargaining in the absence of an exclusive employee bargaining representative. I highly recommend this book to anyone concerned about the current state of labor relations and labor law in the United States."-Linda Chavez-Thompson, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
"Charles J. Morris's book will serve as a road map to recovery for the labor movement. His work is a must-read for all involved in labor relations and those concerned with expanding democracy. I believe it to be the most important and best work available on labor law and organizing. I am convinced that soon all union organizers will adopt his understandings."-John Lambiase, President of UE District Council 6

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