A Universal Idea
This chapter, the book’s conclusion, summarizes the book’s main points and generally describes how the U.S. case illuminates the utility of Latin America and principled labor law for the rest of the world. It argues that, despite globalization, neoliberalism, labor law crises, and whatnot, many countries have deep traditions, legal and otherwise, that support protecting the weak and, as such, the protective principle and its correlative principles, primacy of reality, nonwaiver, and continuity. If the United States, one of the least labor-protective jurisdictions in the developed world, has the potential of having a labor-protective jurisprudence, other countries might do even better than the United States if they ascribe to principled labor law. In fact, the chapter briefly shows how the United Kingdom’s courts acknowledge primacy of reality (fact) and the protective principle in recent cases dealing with “gig” work. The conclusion also acknowledges that the book has been partial to state-enforced labor law, discussing little the importance of freedom of association. However, it asserts that freedom of association remains a necessary aspect for workers’ rights. As such, the book has provided a necessary but still incomplete toolbox for robust labor law. It concludes by underscoring the need for labor-protective jurisprudence in developed and developing countries alike, and the relevance of Latin America for at least part of that task.
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