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Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights : Teach-In on the Freedom to Form Unions. Why Workers Want Unions Why America Needs Unions The Freedom to Form a Union is a Fundamental Human Right Why Workers Can’t Get Unions What We Can Do: Mobilize for Workers Rights!. Topics for Today.

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Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights : Teach-In on the Freedom to Form Unions

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Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights: Teach-In on the Freedom to Form Unions


Topics for today

Why Workers Want Unions

Why America Needs Unions

The Freedom to Form a Union is a Fundamental Human Right

Why Workers Can’t Get Unions

What We Can Do: Mobilize for Workers Rights!

Topics for Today


1 why workers want unions

1. Why Workers Want Unions

Workers want to join together to win better pay, better benefits, job safety, better working conditions, fair treatment and a voice on the job.


Part one why workers want unions union advantage wages health care pensions and vacations

Nonunion

Union

15 days

$801

92%

73%

11.75 days

$622

68%

16%

Wages

Health Insurance

Guaranteed Pension

Vacations

Source: U.S. Department of Labor; BLS; EPI; Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Part One: Why Workers Want UnionsUnion Advantage: Wages, Health Care, Pensions and Vacations


Part one why workers want unions unions help promote family life

Negotiate for affordable and high quality child care

Negotiate flexible schedules helpful for working parents and those with sick or elderly family members

Negotiate for family leave policies that help working parents

Part One: Why Workers Want UnionsUnions Help Promote Family Life


Part one why workers want unions millions of workers want unions

Don’t Have a Union But Want One

Have a Union

Sources: BLS; Peter Hart Research.

Part One: Why Workers Want UnionsMillions of WorkersWant Unions

57

million

15.7 million


2 why america needs unions

2. Why America Needs Unions

AFL-CIO Voice @ Work Campaign


Part two why america needs unions collective bargaining is a public good

Raises everyone’s living standards

Stimulates economy

Reduces inequality and poverty

Narrows race and gender wage gaps

Strengthens our social safety net

Increases political participation

Counters excessive corporate power

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsCollective Bargaining Is a Public Good

AFL-CIO Voice @ Work Campaign


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsRaises Everyone’s Living Standards

Weak Union StatesStrong Union States

13.4%

16.6%

$48,877

$9,296

11%

13.6%

$40,333

$6,561

Poverty Rate

No Health Care

Education Spending (per student)

Household Income

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Kaiser Family Foundation; U.S. Dept. of Education.


Part two why america needs unions reduces inequality and poverty

Poverty Line $19,307

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsReduces Inequality and Poverty

Nonunion

Union

$24,274

$24,211

$23,275

$23,338

$19,115

$18,824

$18,366

$17,950

Source: U.S. Census; Bureau of Labor Statistics


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsNarrows Race and Gender Wage Gaps

Nonunion Wages

Union Wages

$801

$731

$673

$656

$622

$559

$500

$449

All Workers

Women

African Amer.

Latinos

+29%

+31%

+31%

+50%

Source: BLS, 2006


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

 CEO Pay As Multiple of Average Worker Pay

Source: United for a Fair Economy.

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsCounters Excessive Inequality


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsPromotes Civic and Political Participation

Strong Union States

Actual Voter Turnout

Weak Union States

Actual Voter Turnout

2004 Presidential Election

Source: Committee for the Study of the American Electorate.


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Corporate Taxes

Union Density

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

Federal Taxes (as percentage of the GDP)

Union Density

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsCounters Excessive Corporate Power

in American Society

Sources: “Tax Facts: A Project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution,” www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/overview/source_gdp.cfm; U.S. Census Bureau, BNA, 2001.

AFL-CIO [email protected] Campaign


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Nonunion

Union

Unemployment Ins.

Workers’ Comp

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsStrengthens Entire State’s Social Safety Net

Source: AFL-CIO, “The Silent War.”


Part two why america needs unions strengthens social safety net

Social Security Act, 1935

Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938

Pension Disclosure Act, 1958

Equal Pay Act, 1963

Civil Rights Act, 1964

Medicare, 1965

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 1970

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 1974

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 1990

Family and Medical Leave Act, 1993

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsStrengthens Social Safety Net


Part two why america needs unions who will set the standards for american jobs

1975

2005

Largest Private Employer

General Motors

Wal-Mart

Wages Paid

Middle class wage

Poverty wage

Health Insurance Provided

Expensive and inadequate

Comprehensive

Pension Offered

Good

None

Union

Yes

No

Part Two: Why America Needs UnionsWho Will Set the Standardsfor American Jobs?


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

3. The Freedom to Form Unions and Bargain Collectively Is a Fundamental Human Right


Part three freedom to form a union freedom to form a union is a legal and human right in theory

Part Three: Freedom To Form a UnionFreedom to Form a Union Is a Legal and Human Right . . . In Theory

“Employees shall have theright to…form…labor organizations [and] to bargain collectively….”National Labor Relations Act, 1935

“Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions...”Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

“We support the right of . . . employees . . . to organize for collective bargaining into unions.” Social Principles of United Methodist Church


Part three freedom to choose a union freedom to form unions is well recognized by our leaders

Part Three: Freedom to Choose a UnionFreedom to Form Unions Is Well Recognized by Our Leaders

The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Those who would destroy or further limit the rights of organized labor…do a disservice to the cause of democracy.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Part three freedom to form a union what does it mean to call something a human right

Part Three: Freedom to Form A UnionWhat Does It Mean to Call Something a Human Right?

Calling something a human right “means that it …prevails over considerations of convenience or efficiency.”

If something is a human right “then it trumps mere economic interests of employers or the public.”

Hoyt Wheeler

Past President, IRRA


4 why workers can t get unions

4. Why Workers Can’t Get Unions

What happens when workers try to win a voice at work?


Part four why workers can t get unions according to human rights watch

Part Four: Why Workers Can’t Get UnionsAccording To Human Rights Watch

“Our findings are disturbing, to say the least. Loophole-ridden laws, paralyzing delays, and feeble enforcement have led to a culture of impunity in many areas of U.S. labor law and practice. Legal obstacles tilt the playing field so steeply against workers’ freedom of association that the United States is in violation of international human rights standards…”

Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

32 Million Workers Are Not Covered by Law

Independent contractors

Supervisors

Farm workers

Domestic workers

Public employees in 23 states

Part Four: Why Workers Can’t Get UnionsAmerican Workers Are Losing the Freedom to Form Unions and Bargain Collectively


Part four why workers can t get unions denial of workers rights is spreading

Department of Justice Revoked union representation for hundred of workers.

National Imagery and Mapping Agency Terminated collective bargaining rights for 1300 employees.

Department of Defense Attacked civil service protections of 750,000 employees.

Department of Homeland Security Withdrew right to bargain collectively from 200,000 employees.

Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky Republican governors strip state workers of rights.

Part Four: Why Workers Can’t Get UnionsDenial of Workers’ Rights Is Spreading


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Outrageous delays

Widespread violations of workers’ rights: a worker is illegally fired or discriminated against for activity “protected” by NLRA every 23 minutes!

Employer penalties are weak

NLRB election process has become a parody of democracy

Part Four: Why Workers Can’t Form UnionsSystem Designed to Protect Our Freedom to Form Unions Is Broken!


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Employer Interference by the Numbers

92% force employees to attend mandatory anti-worker presentations

78% force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with managers

75% hire consultants to help them fight union organizing campaign

51% threaten to move or close if workers vote to form a union

25% illegally fire at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Democratic Election

NLRB Election

All parties have equal access to voter list and voters.

No. Employer has full access; union has limited access to list and voters.

Yes.

Voters cannot be intimidated or threatened.

No. Employer harasses and even fires supporters.

Yes.

Voters can be forced to listen to one side only.

Yes. Employer holds voters captive to message.

No.

One side can delay election and outcome.

Yes. Employer can delay both almost indefinitely.

No.

Election is conducted at campaign headquarters.

Yes. Election occurs on company property.

No.

Part Four: Why Workers Can’t Get UnionsNLRB Elections Are Inherently Unfair and Insult Our Democratic Traditions


5 what we can do about it

5. What We Can Do About It!

AFL-CIO Voice @ Work Campaign


Part five what we can do about it it s time to fight back

57 million U.S. workers want unions and can’t get them.

Students can help change that.

Workers’ rights are human rights!

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItIt’s Time to Fight Back!

AFL-CIO Voice @ Work Campaign


Part five what we can do about it what we can do

Participate in National Student Labor Week of Action!

Support campus organizing and collective bargaining campaigns.

Urge university to adopt a “code of conduct.”

Support legislation to protect freedom to form unions.

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItWhat We Can Do


Part five what we can do about it support the employee free choice act s 842 and h r 1696

Lead Sponsors:

Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Specter (R-PA)

Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY)

Guarantees employee free choice through:

Democratic majority sign-up

First contract arbitration

Remedies

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItSupport the Employee Free Choice Act,S. 842 and H.R. 1696


Part five what we can do about it efca student action checklist

Find out whether your Representative and Senators have co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act.

If they have, thank them.

If not, ask them to become a co-sponsor.

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItEFCA Student Action Checklist


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItHow You Can Help Workers Form Unions

The AFL-CIO Organizing Institute recruits, trains and places talented and committed people in full-time positions helping workers form and join unions in the American union movement.

For more information, visit www.organize.aflcio.org.


Workers rights are human rights teach in on the freedom to form unions

Part Five: What We Can Do About ItParticipate in National Student Labor Week of Action

From March 31-April 4, 2006, students and labor will commemorate the lives of

Cesar Chavez and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by highlighting

the plight of campus workers nationwide.

To find out how you can take part, visit www.studentlabor.org.


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