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NAACP Supports Workers' Rights as Civil Rights Opposed to So-called "Right to Work" Legislation and Initiatives

WHEREAS, the NAACP has a long standing and rich history of working with labor unions to promote fair wages, good benefits, workplace protections and equal opportunities and has passed numerous resolutions and action items in support of the right and freedom to unionize and collectively bargain for all American workers; and

WHEREAS, across the country, workers are facing a barrage of legislative attacks at the local, state, and federal level which would restrict their rights to form unions and bargain collectively, including so-called "right-to-work" legislation; and

WHEREAS, so-called "right-to-work" laws make it more difficult for workers to organize and enter into a union contract to help pay for the expenses that the union incurs while protecting the rights of all employees; and

WHEREAS, on December 11, 2012, Michigan became the 241 state to enact an anti-union so-called "right-to-work"' law; and

WHEREAS, studies demonstrate that deceptively titled "right-to-work" laws drive down wages for all workers, including non-union members, women, and people of color. Workers living in so-called "right-to-work" states earn approximately $1,500 less per year than workers in states without these laws. The wage disparity penalty is even worse for women and workers of color; and

WHEREAS, in 1961, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addressed the AFL-CIO Fourth Constitutional Convention in Bal Harbour, Fla., he spoke of the "unity of purpose" between the labor movement and the movement for civil rights. He said: "Our needs are identical with labor's needs: decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community"; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP has passed numerous resolutions advocating on behalf of workers' rights for over 60 years.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocates for the repeal of all so-called "right-to-work" laws that have been enacted and oppose all that are being considered by a local, state or the federal legislature; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP reiterates its strong support for all workers to collectively bargain for their wages, benefits, working conditions, and other rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP, recognizing that "workers' rights" are "civil rights" is committed to work in coordination with other like-minded individuals, organizations, and groups which may be opposed to so-called "right­ to-work" laws either through political, legal, or other advocacy means.