Labour’s Many Constitutions (and Capital’s Too)

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Source Publication

(2012) 33 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 355-78


The movement to constitutionalize collective labor rights is growing as rapidly as organized labor's economic and political strength is eroding. This is not surprising. In an era in which organized labor enjoyed significant bargaining power and had the capacity to influence labor law, labor market policy, and macroeconomic policy more generally, there was no need to find ways to limit the ways states could legislate with respect to collective labor rights. It is precisely the loss of labor's power and the shift from a Keynesian or social democratic agenda, which supported collective bargaining as a macroeconomic policy, to a neoliberal agenda, which sees labor rights as market impeding, that has motivated efforts to put labor rights beyond the reach of ordinary government action.

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