What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is Collective Bargaining a Fundmental Human Right?

Sykes to Walker on Sunday Insight this morning: "Is collective bargaining a fundmental human right?"
Walker: "NO!"

Really Governor?  Collective bargaining is NOT a fundamental human right? 
Not according to the ENTIRE WORLD.  Consider just a few of these facts:
  • The right to collectively bargain is recognized through international human rights conventions. Article 23 (4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right.  "Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."  (notice the word EVERYONE). 
  • Item 2(a) of the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work defines the "freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining" as an essential right of workers.
  • In 1930, the Supreme Court, in the case of Texas & N.O.R. Co. v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, upheld the act's prohibition of employer interference in the selection of bargaining representatives.
  • In 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order giving public-employee unions the right to collectively bargain with federal government agencies. 

and then there's that pesky thing called the first amendment (the stuff our founders thought important enough to put FIRST):

  • Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
What about freedom of speech? Freedom to peaceably assembly? Freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances? does this governor not understand???
The entire point of a Union is for workers to peaceably assemble and speak (negotiate) their concerns with their management.  In the case of public employees, they are also covered by the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Scott Walker has in one word this morning denied 81 years of Federal protections on the right to collectively bargain AND 63 years of international law AND 220 years of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.
Walker is fundamentally just WRONG. The right to collectively bargain is ingrained in international, national and state law (which is why they need to CHANGE the law to take the right away) and THIS is why the entire world is hitting the streets to protest his agenda.

EVERYONE seems to know this except for Governor Scott Walker who answered simply and emphatically "NO!"


Denis Navratil said...

Why is there no fundamental right not to bargain? In every aspect of my life I have no right to bargain, nor am I compelled to bargain. But if I join a union I get "rights" or can make demands that others don't have available to them. Is that fair? I should also note that my right to assiciate is not impacted.

Benjamin said...

None of the above argues that collective bargaining, itself, is a human right, only that the premises and conditions under which collective bargaining take place partake of a sort of "human rightyness." By the same token, we have an undoubted right to free association and free speech, but cannot parley that association and speech into an orgy in a public park. we have the right to bear arms, but not to slaughter our neighbors with those weapons. I nowhere see in your statement a specifically mentioned right to collective bargaining.