Supreme Court to Hear Two Pivotal Union Cases

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The October term for the U.S. Supreme Court brings a varied caseload concerning religious freedom in prison and First Amendment rights on the Internet. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty)

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments over a strategy commonly used by unions to organize workers.

The practice involves pressuring an employer into signing a "neutrality agreement." In such agreements, employers promise not to block unionization drives in exchange for giving the union access to its workers to attempt to organize them. At question before the Court is whether these "neutrality agreements" are legal.   

At least one employee of Mardi Gras Gaming in Florida believes they're not. Martin Mulhall sued Unite Here, a hotel worker's union, arguing that his company's neutrality agreement with the union was illegal.

This case is just one of two major organized labor disputes the Court is scheduled to hear this session.  The other involves an Illinois home-care worker who objected to being asked to pay fees to a union she didn't support.

Benjamin Sachs, a Harvard Law School professor, explains the legal arguments in both cases, and describes why these rulings will be so important for the future of unions.

Guests:

Benjamin Sachs

Produced by:

Mythili Rao and Elizabeth Ross

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

dlmc

Sachs gave his opinion on how horrible it is that this case is going to the Supreme Court, but no actual facts on what the case entails. What exactly are the unions/employers accused of doing? A little less opinion and more actual reporting would be nice.

Nov. 12 2013 11:45 AM

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