Let All Voices Be Heard - Restoring the Right of Workers to Form Unions: A National Priority and Civil and Human Rights Imperative
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - September 2009
Today, the labor and civil rights movements confront another shared crisis — the systematic, often brutal denial of the right of American workers "to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively…and to engage in other concerted activities…." As the following report details, this attack on organizing rights is one piece of an overall roll-back of civil and workers' rights over the past quarter century, as federal policymakers and judges have etched away at rights and protections for all workers.
The damage resulting from these public acts is greatly exacerbated when it comes to workers' organizing and bargaining rights by the aggressive, virulent and often unchecked anti-union campaigns that private actors—employers and their consultants—mount when workers try to form unions. So ruthless are these campaigns and so predictable their consequences that the right to form unions and bargain collectively has been all but eliminated in America's workplaces.
Reinvigorating the right to organize is a matter of basic civil rights, a priority for our nation, and an imperative for our movement.
View the report by section below, or download a printable version of the full report. (PDF)
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Restoring the Right to Form Unions: An Important First Step in Reversing the Erosion of Workers' Rights Overall
- The Empire Strikes Back: The Corporate Attack on the Right of Workers
- Union Representation: A Bridge to Economic Security and Equal Opportunity for All Workers
- Restoring Organizing and Bargaining Rights for America's Workers: The Employee Free Choice Act
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights would like to acknowledge and thank Christine L. Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, for her authorship of this report, and Richard L. Copely, whose "I Am A Man" photograph is on the cover of this report.
"I Am A Man" photograph copyright: Richar L. Copely.