Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Secretary of Labor David Bonior
From Multinational Monitor
MM: Given the framework of U.S. labor law, how prevalent are violations of rights that are supposedly guaranteed?
Bonior: They are very prevalent. Twenty-three thousand workers every year are fired or discriminated against at their workplace for union-related activities, according to National Labor Relations Board statistics. These are just the people that we know, and who have filed claims. There are probably tens of thousands of others who would fall into that category, but don’t bother to pursue a recourse to their discriminations and firings. It is a huge problem. To give you some perspective on that: the International Labor Organization arm of the United Nations ranks all member countries based upon compliance with labor law, and the United States ranks in the bottom twentieth percentile. We are down there with Iran and with Afghanistan. We do not comply with our own labor law. As a result, we’ve seen the numbers of illegal firings and discriminations shoot up from five and six hundred in the 1960s to a few thousand in the 1970s now to epidemic proportions of 23,000 to 30,000 a year....
The right of association is a Constitutional civil liberty right. It is like the right to free speech, the right to a free press, the right to religion. When you don’t have the right to association, you really threaten your democracy. There is no more important place to associate than within your workplace. The first thing that a dictator, a Hitler, a Pinochet, will do is get rid of the right of association, and that is exactly what has been happening and accelerating in the United States in regards to workers at the workplace.
Why right-wingers support the kind of lawbreaking that goes on in busting unions is beyond me.
More blogs about politics.