Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



By now it is a commonplace in the labor relations community that there are two significant deficiencies in the administration of the National Labor Relations Act. Neither is a matter of substantive law in the usual sense. The first is the inordinate delay in securing a remedy in contested cases, and the second is the inadequacy of the remedy in certain critical situations. I should like to examine a few key recommendations of the NLRB Task Force, and a few key provisions of the proposed Labor Reform Act, in light of those two central concerns.

In my assessment I shall also take into account two other factors I consider of similar importance. These include the need to maintain and enhance the acceptability of Labor Board decisions, and the need to ensure the full freedom of employee choice and genuine neutrality toward union and employer interests in view of today's industrial realities. If I were to offer one general criticism of H.R. 8410, the Labor Reforn1 bill, it is that, for all its virtues, it is out of date before it is passed. It provides long-overdue solutions to the worst of yesterday's labor relations problems, which m ay not be typical today, and it does so in terms that are overly explicit and thus likely to hamper the flexibility of future Board decision-making. At the same time, it fails to acknowledge some of the changing pattems of more progressive labor relations, and so fails to provide a legal framework for tomorrow's probable industrial developments.