In the wake of World War II, on December 10, 1948 delegates of the newly-formed United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This Declaration is a central document of the modern human rights movement. The Declaration sets forth inalienable economic, social, civil and political rights of every individual, no matter where he or she lives.

Fundamental workers’ rights are an integral part of the Declaration, which states unequivocally that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association,” and “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” The Declaration recognizes the freedom of workers to organize and bargain as fundamental human rights, on par with and deserving of the same protection as others such as freedom of speech and religion.

Despite the lofty words of the Declaration and the protections theoretically provided under U.S. law, working men and women in the U.S., the wealthiest and most powerful country on earth, are often unable to exercise their freedom to form unions and bargain collectively.  When workers in the U.S. seek to exercise this right they are often confronted with intimidation, coercion and disinformation that suppress their rights with devastating effectiveness. 

Working people in the United States and the society as a whole pay a heavy price for this suppression of the freedom to form unions.  When collective bargaining is suppressed, wages lag, inequality and poverty grow, race and gender pay gaps widen, society’s safety net is strained, civic and political participation is undermined and a crucial counterweight against unbridled corporate power is weakened. The bottom line: millions of U.S. workers want collective bargaining but are denied it in a wholesale violation of human rights that leaves them and the nation worse off.

The JCPA believes that:

Therefore, the Community Relations field should:

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