A Good Start

The Department of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board will be working together to prevent employers in an industry from colluding on worker recruiting and pay.

About f%$#ing time. It won’t mean anything ulesss they start frog marching executives out of their offices in handcuffs though:

The U.S. Justice Department’s competition enforcers have teamed up with the National Labor Relations Board to combat collusion among employers in their competition for workers.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division and NLRB intend to coordinate more closely on investigations and enforcement actions under a memorandum of understanding signed Tuesday.

The antitrust division, which has the power to bring criminal charges, will apply “extraordinary vigilance” to protecting workers’ right to earn a fair wage, said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, who heads the division.

……….

Last week, the NLRB entered into a similar agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, an agency that both reviews mergers and takes action against deceptive practices by businesses. The FTC said that it would scrutinize mergers that hurt competition in labor markets, and take action against gig economy companies that lie to workers and job seekers. The two agencies also vowed to work together on investigative efforts and cross-train staff.

The antitrust division in March also signed an agreement with the U.S. Labor Department aimed at thwarting collusion among employers. The Justice Department increasingly has sought to punish companies that make illegal agreements, for example, to fix wages or avoid poaching each other’s workers.

On Monday, the department announced an $85 million settlement with Cargill Inc. and newly formed Wayne-Sanderson Farms over their alleged sharing of information on poultry workers’ wages.

The enforcement with the chicken guys is the sort of action that should not be taken.

A small fine and no admission of liability makes the action little more than a cost of doing business.

Without the threat of arrest and incarceration, nothing will change.

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