DRAFT for American Library Association to take up at Summer 2006 Conference.
SUPPORT FOR FREEDOM TO FORM UNIONS: THE EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT
Whereas, The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association,
Wishing to promote respect for human rights, including workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain collectively without employer interference; having a history of support for freedom to form unions and the important public benefits collective bargaining provides; and knowing of the deplorable record of the United States with respect to protection of these important rights, as documented by no less an authority than Human Rights Watch; and
Whereas, realizing that failure to protect freedom to form unions is exacting a heavy economic, social and political price from workers and communities throughout our nation, including but not limited to suppressed wages, decreased job quality, worsened economic inequality, erosion of support for public education, the unraveling of public and private safety net protections, the denial of justice and democracy in the workplace, and decreased political participation;
Whereas, realizing that the majority of library employees work in the public sector and there for are covered by state collective bargaining laws which in many cases are even less protective of workers rights than the National Labor Relations Act;
Therefore be it resolved that the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association:
1. Urges members of Congress to co-sponsor and actively support the Employee Free Choice Act; when adopted, this landmark legislation will provide important, badly needed and long overdue protection for the fundamental human right of America’s workers to form unions and bargain collectively without employer interference; and
2. Urges the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to refrain from further attacks on workers’ rights, such as new restrictions on voluntary recognition agreements (VRAs); VRAs offer a vital alternative to an NLRB election process that has become a vehicle for employers and anti-union consultants to suppress the freedom to form unions; where libraries are concerned, these agreements also improve library services by reducing conflict during workers’ campaigns to form unions; and
3. Urges employers in both the public and private sector, especially within libraries and archives but also in all sectors of the economy and throughout the nation, to uphold and respect the fundamental human right of their employees to form unions and bargain collectively.