Wilma Liebman, a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and School of Labor and Employments Relations this fall, was featured in the campus News Bureau's trademarked web feature, "A Minute With ..."
In this feature, Illinois professors speak to the essence of issues of the day from tax deductions to national political conventions to supercomputers to historical events to scientific and technological advances. Most of the commentors are Illinois professors. It is surprising how much they can say in one minute.
The former National Labor Relations Board member and chair appropriately spent her minute calmly and simply laying out out the state of labor, labor law and the current animus against unions.
Here's her answer to the final question of how to elevate public discouse on organized labor and collective bargaining:
"There is obviously a deep national divide over issues of organized labor, collective bargaining and the role of government in protecting the rights of workers. In the current political environment, it seems to be virtually impossible to have a serious political dialogue. Political and economic discourse on these subjects is degraded and the rhetoric overheated. I would like to hope that serious discussions could begin outside of the political arena, with labor and business ultimately coming to realize that that we are in an impossible stalemate and change of direction is needed. Issues of worker rights and income inequality should all be part of a broader discussion of how to create a sustainable market economy that works for all Americans."
To read her other comments, click here.