For many Americans, Labor Day means one last long weekend to end the summer. But the U.S. Department of Labor describes the holiday as “a creation of the labor movement,” meaning labor unions.
So how would organized labor celebrate?
1. Make union organizing a civil right. Democrats Georgia Rep. John Lewis and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison have introduced a bill that would that would do just that. The congressmen argue that the current National Labor Relations Board process is too slow. Dealing with labor issues as expeditiously as discrimination is one way they would resolve that.
Lewis and Ellison propose letting anyone who claims they are fired because of union advocacy sue under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This would make them eligible not only for back pay and reinstatement to their jobs, as under the current process, but also the kinds of compensatory and punitive damages allowed under the civil rights laws.
Critics charge that this would open the door to abusive litigation by people who wrongly claim they were fired because their bosses were anti-union, which would damage businesses.