Wednesday, November 29, 2006

AFL-CIO and International Human Rights Day 2006

The union movement plans to commemorate International Human Rights Day with an Organizing Summit to plan strategies to organize and restore workers’ rights.

International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, is less than two weeks away. The AFL-CIO and its affiliates are preparing to commemorate the day with renewed vigor, resolve and hope that we can restore fundamental workers’ rights in America.

For three years now the AFL-CIO has maintained that restoring American workers' freedom to form unions and bargain collectively is the Federation's top political and legislative priority.

The Federation believes that politics and organizing must be linked and that the nexus is legislation to restore workers' rights. Federation political director Karen Ackerman said repeatedly that political activity must generate organizing. President John Sweeney asked state federations and central labor councils to make sure endorsed candidates were either already co-sponsors of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) or pledged to co- sponsor it if elected. The Employee Free Choice Act is the federation's legislative vehicle to make the first major step to restore workers' rights. EFCA would amend the National Labor Relations Act to allow private sector workers to form unions by simply signing a card or petition, impose real penalties on employers who violate the law, and allow for arbitration to settle first contract disputes.

The American Library Association has endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act.

Library union highlights are noted at the AFL-CIO blog.

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