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Abstract

The concept of workers’ rights as human rights has only recently begun to influence the formation and implementation of labor policy in the United States. In the workplace, the growing human rights movement challenges long-held beliefs and practices in labor relations. The author explores this issue and its implications for U.S. labor policy and practice, focusing specifically on individual versus collective rights, exclusive representation, coverage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employer resistance to workers’ freedom of association, the right to strike, the statutory purposes of the NLRA, and the underpinnings of the traditional U.S. industrial relations system.These challenges also affect U.S. legal isolationism, the role of labor unions, the status and implementation of economic as well as civil and political rights, and the U.S. labor and employment relations research agenda.

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