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A Petition for the Democratic Party to Make Labor Organizing a Civil Right

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A Petition for the Democratic Party to set as a Priority Labor Law Reform that Recognizes the Civil Right to Form or Join a Union

WHEREAS: Working men and women have been faithfully supporting the Democratic Party for decades, but there has been no meaningful labor law reform that would free workers to exercise their civil right to form a union since the FDR administration;

WHEREAS: Union density in America is at its lowest level since the Great Depression;

WHEREAS: America has among the weakest labor laws and highest levels of employer opposition to labor of any industrialized democracy, leaving workers powerless to exercise their rights to join a union;

WHEREAS: The result has been that America has among the lowest union density of any major industrialized democracy, which has led to its having among the highest levels of inequality and wealth disparity;

WHEREAS: Worker productivity in America has consistently increased since World War II, but workers have not been able to share in productivity gains because their voice in the workplace has been diminishing with decreased union density;

WHEREAS: The middle class has been shrinking for decades, and America risks becoming a society of only rich and poor;

WHEREAS: Economic advisors of the Republican Party advocate for measures that would result in even greater wealth disparity, and reduced worker voice;

WHEREAS: A worker’s choice to join or organize a union is a civil right, derived from the First Amendment rights of free speech and association;

WHEREAS: The Civil Rights and Labor Movements have a long and entwined history of cooperation and support;

WHEREAS: The Democratic National Convention will be held in the first week of September 2012 in North Carolina, a state with a strong anti-labor tradition;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Democratic Party show its support for working men and women by officially adopting into its legislative priorities for the next Congress legislation to officially recognize as a civil right the right to join or organize a union. This legislation would provide anti discrimination protection to workers trying to organize a union akin to those provided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to protect against discrimination based on race, sex, religion, and national origin. This change would give workers real rights and remedies in exercising their right to have a voice the workplace, would diminish employers’ violation of currently weak labor laws, and would finally recognize what most Americans already believe: It is an individual’s civil right to join or organize a union, and they should not be fired for exercising that right.

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