Collective Bargaining Rights of Public Employees and the "Human Rights as Home Campaign"
WHEREAS, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. in his last days with us, spoke of"...going beyond purely civil rights to questions of human rights," and said, "Now our struggle is for true equality, which means economic equality"; and
WHEREAS, the surest path to economic equality for all workers has been the exercise of their internationally-recognized human rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; by forming and/or joining a union, and collectively bargaining for a fair share of the product of their labor and the investments of their pension funds; and
WHEREAS, inalienable human rights, including the rights of workers, are held to be universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated; and
WHEREAS, in exercising their recent gains in strength in state legislatures across the USA, anti-labor majorities have mounted a concerted effort to rollback decades of progress in the exercise of workers' economic human rights, especially the exercise of the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining by public employees, as well as other workers' rights; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Government is obligated to defend the universal rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining by the Constitution of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and more directly, through its commitments in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), like the Peru Free Trade Agreement, which obligate the USA to " ...adopt and maintain in its statutes and regulations, and practices there under, the following rights, as stated in the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up ...: (a) freedom of association; (b) the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining';· and
WHEREAS, Paragraph 2 of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution negates the authority of state legislatures to strip public employees of their right to collective bargaining, and makes the actions of state legislatures to violate public employees' rights illegal, in light of U.S. Government obligations to uphold the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Human Rights Network, of which the NAACP is a member organization, has an ongoing "Human Rights at Home" Campaign, which "...blends public education, media outreach, and advocacy efforts to increase awareness among state and local officials of their respective responsibilities to protect and promote human rights." and"...seeks to share information and increase collaboration among domestic human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and social justice groups in support of campaign goals.", and thus, is an ideal vehicle for addressing workers' rights violations as human rights violations; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his last days raising support for public employees seeking to exercise their human rights in Memphis, Tennessee.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall provide education to members and the public regarding human rights, including economic human rights and the rights of workers delineated in the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which have been incorporated into the International Human Rights Law framework; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall advocate for prioritizing the protection of the rights of workers, including public employees and diversity in the investment if their pension funds, in the objectives of the U.S. Human Rights Network's Human Rights at Home Campaign; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall advocate that this priority be included in the calls for an Executive Order by President Barack Obama which includes "...an explicit commitment implementing the full spectrum of human rights as envisioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognizing that every human being is entitled not only to civil and political rights but also to economic, social and cultural rights...", which rights include the rights of workers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall encourage its Units to join with U.S. Human Rights Network member organization affiliates and other allies in their localities and states to organize an effective support for the Human Rights at Home Campaign.