Public Sector Labor Policy: A Human Rights Approach
Author: Hebdon, Robert
Publication: Nevada Law Journal
This paper reveals that U.S. and Canadian public sector labor policy fail to conform to international understandings of freedom of association, a fundamental human right.1 Globalization has set in motion new pressures for a reassessment of labor and union rights. A new paradigm is emerging where antiquated and inadequate labor policies that ignore these international standards may not be sustainable.2 By applying international human rights standards through such global institutions as the International Labor Organization (ILO), we find that most U.S public sector labor laws fall far short of international understandings of freedom of association and collective bargaining. While Canadian laws may conform to such understandings, Canadian governments have repeatedly violated the right to strike through frequent use of back-to-work laws.3 Our findings will underscore a contradiction between what is preached to the rest of the world and what is practiced at home in the United States and Canada in terms of human rights.