Friday, December 7, 2007

International Human Rights Day

Monday, December 10, is International Human Rights Day—the day commemorating the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The declaration states, “Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

Unfortunately, here in the United States this fundamental human right is under attack.

When you look at what employers are permitted to do, and when you look at what the Bush administration's Labor Board has done to roll back workers' rights, it is clear that workers in America don’t have freedom to protect their own interests.

The freedom to form a union to bargain for a better life is an internationally recognized human right, but workers in America are denied that right each and every day. The University of Arkansas does not have to engage in collective bargaining with employees, and some UA administrators even refuse to meet and discuss work issues with employees when union officers are present.

Click here to tell your senators to fight to restore these rights and pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

As a nation, we’re not keeping our end of the bargain to workers—not by anyone’s standards.

Human Rights Watch, an internationally recognized watchdog organization, studied what happens to workers in the United States who try to form unions. The group found we’ve got a fundamental human rights issue on our hands. And the International Labor Organization has said the United States is out of compliance with internationally recognized workers’ rights standards.

This week, hundreds of the world’s labor leaders are gathering in Washington, D.C., at the first-ever global organizing forum addressing this very issue—how to uphold workers’ rights to form unions worldwide, including right here in the United States.

Our system has to be changed to give all working people the freedom to make their own choice about whether to have a union and bargain for better wages and benefits.

The Employee Free Choice Act would do just that.

This year, we have seen amazing progress on the bill. In March, it sailed through the U.S. House; in May, it garnered majority support in the U.S. Senate.

Our elected leadership is starting to get it. No single piece of legislation will do more to lift the middle class and create the America that everyone deserves.

The campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act won’t end until we have restored to U.S. workers the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively for a better life. The fight is on, and we will keep going until we win.

Click here to remind your senators: Working families need the Employee Free Choice Act.

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