News & Commentary

July 8, 2022

Hannah Finnie

Hannah Finnie is a student at Harvard Law School and a member of the Labor and Employment Lab.

A new piece in the American Prospect hosts a conversation between Professor Benjamin Sachs and Professor Kate Andrias, about a law review article they recently co-authored. The conversation also features Steve Kest and Bob Kuttner dissecting the content of the article. The piece focuses on various ways to use the law to allow for the building of countervailing power, relying on labor law and past social movements to point to future opportunities.

Workers at two Amazon warehouses have announced their intent to unionize with the Amazon Labor Union, an independent union that successfully sprung up to win the unionization drive at the Staten Island Amazon warehouse. Over in New Jersey, Amazon abruptly canceled its plans to build a hub in Newark after advocacy and outcry by local union and other organizations.

At the federal level, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a new policy to try to counteract a tactic employers frequently use to shut down undocumented workers raising workplace issues: threatening their immigration status. The new policy essentially would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to grant undocumented workers at a workplace where there is a labor dispute immigration relief. That relief could take different forms – from requesting the DOL’s support for a worker’s petition for deferred action or parole to authorizing their employment.

Finally, over in The Nation, labor reporter Kim Kelly wrote a piece about the Biden administration’s Mine Safety and Health Administration’s new policy to reduce silica, which causes black lung in miners. The policy is mostly aimed at requiring mine operators to increase the safety of miners by reducing the effects of silica and using inspections and targeting repeat offenders to be effective. Workers at the Warrior Met coal mine have been on strike for 15 months in their fight to reach a new contract.

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