Happy Labor Day! Maryland's protections for public employees are weak

union_struggle_cropped.jpgHappy Labor Day! Maryland ranks with Kansas (Kansas!) in the strength of our labor protections for public employees, a roundup by the Economic Policy Institute shows. A little better than a right-to-work state like Virginia, but that is not a high bar.



 

Happy Labor Day! Maryland ranks with Kansas (Kansas!) in the strength of our labor protections for public employees, a roundup by the Economic Policy Institute shows. A little better than a right-to-work state like Virginia, but that is not a high bar.

EPI notes about "Maryland: Status of collective bargaining laws: Maryland has no state law covering local employees. The largest local jurisdictions have their own laws.

While federal laws provide most private-sector workers and federal government workers with the right to unionize and bargain collectively, there is as of yet no federal law guaranteeing that right for state and local government workers like teachers. A patchwork of state laws provides inconsistent rights for these public workers.

Source: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) analysis, August 2020."

Many of our surrounding states -- Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey -- are shown as having stronger public-employee protections. Likewise Florida (!)

EPI provides navigation for the map:  "The states, shaded in green, have comprehensive laws protecting collective bargaining rights for a majority of public workers. States shaded in gray have weak laws with limited rights, no laws, or outright bans on collective bargaining for public workers.
 
"The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored both the importance of unions in giving workers a collective voice in the workplace and the urgent need to reform U.S. labor laws to stop the further erosion of those rights.
 
"During the COVID-19 crisis, unionized workers have been able to secure enhanced safety measures, additional premium pay, paid sick time and a say in the terms of furloughs or work-share arrangements to save jobs."

 

You can check out the whole story, "Why unions are good for workers -- especially in a crisis like COVID-19," here.

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