Shine A Light On Worker's Rights

On April 4, 1968, shortly before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood with sanitation workers in Memphis to demand human rights, basic respect and collective bargaining to gain a better life. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are taking the same stand—together.

On April 4th people across the country will come together in support of worker’s rights and against the current assault on worker’s rights playing out in various US states.

All workers have a right to organize and to bargain collectively. Amnesty International stands in solidarity with all those seeking to defend collective bargaining rights anywhere these rights are threatened, and on April 4 we urge governors and legislators to protect workers’ rights by rejecting any attempt to limit collective bargaining.

We encourage Amnesty members to join the April 4th events and honor Dr. King’s vision for human rights. To find an event in your area and for more information visit the  We Are One website.  RSVP on Facebook here.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

10 thoughts on “Shine A Light On Worker's Rights

  1. Dear A.I.-

    If public service employees right to organize is a human right – is the right to opt out of union a human right as well? Should workers be forced to pay even partial union dues against there will and should that EVER be a condition of employment?

    Where is the outrage for Federal Employees (who are doing just fine without Union)? The "union friendly" Commander-in-Chief Pres recently ARBITARILY froze pay for two years for millions of Federal Employees – and guess what HE DIDN'T NEED TO ASK A UNION FOR PERMISSION. Where is the outrage over all the Governors with a (D) after there name whose states are right to work states?

    The people have spoken in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio etc… If these actions are an overreach or misread mandate – the people of these States will vote Socialists back in office.

    Good for those Governors more concerned about taxpayers.

    Unions were once worthy. They are obsolete and overreach now.

    PARASITE –
    An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

  2. Dear A.I.-

    If public service employees right to organize is a human right – is the right to opt out of union a human right as well? Should workers be forced to pay even partial union dues against there will and should that EVER be a condition of employment?

    Where is the outrage for Federal Employees (who are doing just fine without Union)? The “union friendly” Commander-in-Chief Pres recently ARBITARILY froze pay for two years for millions of Federal Employees – and guess what HE DIDN’T NEED TO ASK A UNION FOR PERMISSION. Where is the outrage over all the Governors with a (D) after there name whose states are right to work states?

    The people have spoken in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio etc… If these actions are an overreach or misread mandate – the people of these States will vote Socialists back in office.

    Good for those Governors more concerned about taxpayers.

    Unions were once worthy. They are obsolete and overreach now.

    PARASITE -
    An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

  3. Dear Brian …..

    One doesn't have to join an union to enjoy the rights unions have brought all workers.

    Should one pay its partial dues, then ?

    How else will unions survive to protect what's due to us all ?

    **** *****

    You say "the people have spoken in ….Wisconsin [ & ] Ohio…." through the elections.

    How is it "the people" can be heard "speaking" only when they vote for some individual …. & not when they speak for THEMSELVES, in their tens of thousands, AS workers ?

    They're voting with their feet, Brian.

    & how ARE "the people" "speaking" on the right to organize in unions ?

    Polls show that, while just 12 . 4 % of the American workforce is organized, nearly 60 % of Americans say they would be interested in joining a union.

    The reasons are clear.

    For one, unionized employees enjoy wages & benefits roughly 15 to 20 % HIGHER than those enjoyed by non – unionized enployees.

    Yet you say unions were ONCE "worthy", but are NOW "obsolete".

    That is, ONCE they'd enabled the rise of the modern middle class, the middle class NOW doesn't need them anymore.

    The opposite is true, dear Brian.

    Unions are needed just so the middle class itself doesn't become "obsolete".

    Permanently.

    "The people" show they understand this.

    They know :

    1. The relation between labor & management is by nature adversarial.

    2. Management has by far the greater command over wealth, resources, power, prestige and government patronage than labor does.So labor needs to be organized … to even the great imbalance of power here.

    Corporations are always the same, Brian.

    They hate raising wages.

    The average American worker's income hasn't risen in real dollars ( taking the cost of living into account ) SINCE 1973 !

    That's why a family now needs two incomes to maintain its living standards, where before only one income would suffice.

    & that's why today even non – union private sector workers are coming out in support of the people's struggle for the right to organize.

    For they know society needs balance.

    They see society suffering from the imbalance of OVERconcentration of power & wealth in the hands of the corporations.

    Society demands balance so it can live ….. & grow.

    A balance of power inside society.

    The balance of power can only be achieved if Big Business is balanced by Big Labor.

    Unions.

  4. Dear Brian …..

    One doesn’t have to join an union to enjoy the rights unions have brought all workers.

    Should one pay its partial dues, then ?

    How else will unions survive to protect what’s due to us all ?

    **** *****

    You say “the people have spoken in ….Wisconsin [ & ] Ohio….” through the elections.

    How is it “the people” can be heard “speaking” only when they vote for some individual …. & not when they speak for THEMSELVES, in their tens of thousands, AS workers ?

    They’re voting with their feet, Brian.

    & how ARE “the people” “speaking” on the right to organize in unions ?

    Polls show that, while just 12 . 4 % of the American workforce is organized, nearly 60 % of Americans say they would be interested in joining a union.

    The reasons are clear.

    For one, unionized employees enjoy wages & benefits roughly 15 to 20 % HIGHER than those enjoyed by non – unionized enployees.

    Yet you say unions were ONCE “worthy”, but are NOW “obsolete”.

    That is, ONCE they’d enabled the rise of the modern middle class, the middle class NOW doesn’t need them anymore.

    The opposite is true, dear Brian.

    Unions are needed just so the middle class itself doesn’t become “obsolete”.

    Permanently.

    “The people” show they understand this.

    They know :

    1. The relation between labor & management is by nature adversarial.

    2. Management has by far the greater command over wealth, resources, power, prestige and government patronage than labor does.So labor needs to be organized … to even the great imbalance of power here.

    Corporations are always the same, Brian.

    They hate raising wages.

    The average American worker’s income hasn’t risen in real dollars ( taking the cost of living into account ) SINCE 1973 !

    That’s why a family now needs two incomes to maintain its living standards, where before only one income would suffice.

    & that’s why today even non – union private sector workers are coming out in support of the people’s struggle for the right to organize.

    For they know society needs balance.

    They see society suffering from the imbalance of OVERconcentration of power & wealth in the hands of the corporations.

    Society demands balance so it can live ….. & grow.

    A balance of power inside society.

    The balance of power can only be achieved if Big Business is balanced by Big Labor.

    Unions.

  5. I remember that night as if it was last night. I was in Memphis, at CBU as a CE student. We, my friends and I, had marched a day or so before with Dr King to show our support of the garbage workers strike, against the wishes of our teachers.This was about a lot more than the garbage workers. It was about protecting all workers rights, including non union workers. Dr King had been in town for a few days already, speaking at the local Baptist churches.
    To this day, if I see video of the march, I remember exactly where I was in the demonstration. When we heard of what had happened, it was devestating. But, I have to say, even though we were under cerfew, we were all up and outside, listening to the city speak. That night, Memphis was the quietist city in America.
    Walter

  6. I remember that night as if it was last night. I was in Memphis, at CBU as a CE student. We, my friends and I, had marched a day or so before with Dr King to show our support of the garbage workers strike, against the wishes of our teachers.This was about a lot more than the garbage workers. It was about protecting all workers rights, including non union workers. Dr King had been in town for a few days already, speaking at the local Baptist churches.
    To this day, if I see video of the march, I remember exactly where I was in the demonstration. When we heard of what had happened, it was devestating. But, I have to say, even though we were under cerfew, we were all up and outside, listening to the city speak. That night, Memphis was the quietist city in America.
    Walter

  7. Equating Wisconsin Public Employees with Dr. King's march and support of the Memphis garbage workers strike in 1968 is a stretch to say the least.

    This is when this debate is DISHONEST and purposely disengenous.

    In 1968 – it was about discrimination, unsafe working conditions and DEATHS on the job.

    In 2011 it is about inflated entitlements, bankrupting States and funding the DNC.

  8. Equating Wisconsin Public Employees with Dr. King’s march and support of the Memphis garbage workers strike in 1968 is a stretch to say the least.

    This is when this debate is DISHONEST and purposely disengenous.

    In 1968 – it was about discrimination, unsafe working conditions and DEATHS on the job.

    In 2011 it is about inflated entitlements, bankrupting States and funding the DNC.