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"Organized Labor's International Law Project?"

There's no realistic prospect that international law norms are going to start being imposed to force changes in U.S. domestic policy, right? Well, don't be so sure: the AFL-CIO, for one, seems intent on using such mechanisms to win fights it has been unable to win through the conventional democratic process. A paper by Michael Muggeridge (PDF) for the Federalist Society's Engage (PDF) explains:

For more than half a century, large U.S. labor unions, alone or in concert with other labor organization federations, have regularly filed complaints with the International Labour Organization (ILO) against the U.S. Government. This article analyzes the significance of organized labor's forays into international law through the ILO process....

We can see from this quick overview of a half-century of complaints how the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association went from a blunt dismissal of a complaint as unsubstantiated and "vague" in 1950, to requesting wholesale federal and state legislative action in 2007. There is no reason to suppose that the CFA will hesitate in recommending that the "Bush Board's decisions" be condemned as well, as a violation of international law and the commitments entered into by the United States.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.