Garcia, Ruben J., "Labor's Fragile Freedom of Association Post-9/11", University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law v. 8 (Winter 2006) p. 283-366
In the name of national security, federal legislation, Executive Orders and administrative agency decisions have greatly limited the rights of U.S. workers to organize and bargain collectively since September 11, 2001. Some workers, such as airport security employees, have completely lost the right to bargain collectively as a result of heightened security concerns. The author of this article argues that because domestic law has proven inadequate, labor should look increasingly to international law, which recognizes the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively as fundamental human rights. He points out that international law principles are increasingly accepted in U.S. courts in a variety of contexts, including the Alien Tort Claims Act, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and constitutional cases that rely on a consensus of nations. Although these instruments may not be self-executing or include private rights of action, he argues that domestic courts can nonetheless look to these principles in deciding whether national security requires the exclusion of certain workers from collective bargaining. The author further notes that international labor law principles are already part of the fabric of U.S. law through ratified treaties and incorporation of the "Law of Nations" into federal statutes such as the Alien Tort Claims Act, so that courts and administrative agencies charged with enforcing domestic labor law should look to international principles for guidance when domestic labor law and national security concerns collide.
Pope, James, "The Next Wave of Organizing and the Shift to a New Paradigm of Labor Law", New York Law School Law Review v. 50 (2006) p. 515-528
Will the new business-organizational form of flexible production produce paradigm shifts in worker organization and labor law, the same way that craft and industrial production did in the past? While some hope that any new paradigm will entail no unions at all, the author advocates for one featuring strong, independent worker organizations and asks how this could be possible. Part IV details this proposal as a shift from business unionism to social movement unionism, with a legal grounding in the right of freedom of association. This may seem unrealistic, but in the past labor growth has happened in unpredictable surges, with these advances following bleak political periods.
Russo, Robert, "A Cooperative Conundrum? The NAALC and Mexican Migrant Workers in the United States", Law & Business Review of the Americas v. 17 no1 (Winter 2011) p. 27 - 38
While much analysis of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) tends to focus on its failure to effect changes to working conditions in Mexico, says the author, here the analysis is on the disappointing results of the agreement for migrant workers in the US. The article begins with a critique of the NAALC framework: the author says it is a partnership that exacerbates inequalities inherent in the different bargaining countries and otherwise takes a soft-law approach to workers’ rights. Next, the author goes on to examine how the US fails to implement the NAALC’s theoretical labor protections for Mexican migrant workers: first, by limiting the its definition of “migrant worker” to workers with legal documents; then, by failing to prosecute violations due to political considerations and slow-moving bureaucracy. The author finds this soft-law framework unacceptable, given the hard-law approach needed to protect migrant workers’ rights in the US.
Torres, Hector R., "Reforming the International Monetary Fund--Why its Legitimacy is at Stake", Journal of International Economic Law v. 10 no3 (2007) p. 443-460
In this article, the author, who is the Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), identifies and discusses the dynamic by which the IMF pressures less developed countries (LDCs) to lower their labor standards. Ostensibly founded to promote international trade, currency stability, and increased employment and living standards for the citizens of its member states, the IMF operates on a "quotas" system whereby the size of a country's contributions to the Fund determines the amount of influence it has in the decision making and policy of the Fund. The author argues that because wealthier countries have the "right" to contribute more to the Fund, they effectively control it - often to the detriment of the LDCs which are in need of the financial assistance of the Fund. According to the author, the disproportionate power in the IMF held by the rich lender countries means that when the Fund negotiates structural reforms by debtor countries as a condition for lending money, the Fund necessarily demands "reforms" that benefit the richer countries. The author also criticizes the IMF's double standard for enforcing financial vs. labor or employment contracts, and for reflexively "recommending" a lowering of labor standards. Although the IMF has no particular expertise in labor policy matters, it has repeatedly refused requests to consult with the International Labor Organization (ILO) before making such recommendations. Unsurprisingly, many lesser developed countries have adopted defensive protectionist strategies, including bi-lateral or regional agreements, in order to avoid the punitive conditions attached to borrowing IMF funds. The author concludes that if more thoroughgoing reforms are not implemented, the Fund will continue to suffer from ineffectiveness and a lack of credibility because of its unresponsiveness to citizens' concerns and the challenges posed by globalization.