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International Labor and Human Rights Activists Tour U.S. to Investigate Abuses in Workplaces
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National tour led by former U.S. Congressman David Bonior travels to Atlanta, Austin, and Boston October 14-21
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2005

CONTACT:
Kimberly Freeman
202-822-2127, ext. 111
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

WHAT:   WORKERS’ RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS TOUR
As part of its ongoing efforts to investigate and expose workers’ rights abuses, and spotlight the inadequacies of U.S. labor law, American Rights at Work will launch the first leg of its nationwide “Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights Tour.” Former U.S. Congressman David Bonior will lead a diverse delegation (see below) of international human rights advocates, U.S. academics and civic, political and religious leaders. Events in each city will uncover the violations of international human rights standards that routinely occur with impunity when workers engage in union organizing and collective bargaining.

WHEN:   TOUR STOPS IN ATLANTA, AUSTIN, AND BOSTON OCTOBER 14-21
The delegation will visit: Atlanta (October 14-16), Austin (October 17-18), and Boston  (October 19-21).

EVENTS:   ACTIVITIES COORDINATED BY LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
Tour activities in each city, coordinated by a coalition of local workers’ rights, human rights, and social justice organizations will include:

  • Workers’ rights hearings that provide workers from different industries a forum to testify
    about enduring termination, harassment, and surveillance during union organizing campaigns.
  • Briefings and forums with local students, and political, religious and community leaders.
  • Press conferences and demonstrations to highlight both hostile and progressive employers.

WHO:   INT’L DELEGATION LED BY FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN DAVID BONIOR
Former U.S. Congressman and Democratic Whip David Bonior, who currently serves as Board Chair of American Rights at Work, the national workers’ rights advocacy organization coordinating the tour, will lead the delegation. Other members include:

  • Mariclaire Acosta Urquidi, former Vice-Minister for Human Rights and Democracy, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Véronique Marleau, ILO trainer; former member of the Canada Labour Relations Board
  • Maria Adela Mejía Perez, human rights activist and Guatemalan union organizer
  • Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris, National Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board Member and civil rights leader
  • Allie Robbins, National Organizer for United Students Against Sweatshops
  • Professor Harley Shaiken, labor expert and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at University of California at Berkeley.

WHY:   EVERY 23 MINUTES A WORKER IS FIRED OR PENALIZED FOR UNION SUPPORT
Every day in the United States, employers use a combination of legal and illegal methods to silence employees who exercise their democratic rights to form unions.  In fact, every 23 minutes a worker is illegally fired or penalized for their support of a union. Moreover, 32 million farmworkers, domestic workers, temporary employees, graduate research and teaching assistants, and others are not protected under the law when they attempt to exercise their freedom of association. This widespread violation of workers’ rights in America defies U.S. law and universally recognized international human rights standards protecting a worker’s right to form a union and collectively bargain.

For Additional Information or to schedule a time to interview one of the tour delegates, please contact John Anthony at 202-288-5742, or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
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American Rights at Work is a leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.

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