A well-documented problem motivates this symposium: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not effectively protect workers’ rights to organize, bargain, and strike. Though unions once represented a third of American workers, today the vast majority of workers are non-union and employed “at will.” The decline of organization among workers is a key factor contributing to the rise of economic and political inequality in American society. Yet reforming labor law at the federal level—at least in a progressive direction—is currently impossible. Meanwhile, broad preemption doctrine means that states and localities are significantly limited in their ability to address the weaknesses in labor law, even where local politics would permit such gains.
Andrias, Kate. "Social Bargaining in States and Cities: Toward a More Egalitarian and Democratic Workplace Law." Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. Online Labor Law Reform Symposium (2017).