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Bush Board Violates International Human Rights Principles
Written by Erin Johansson   
March 25, 2008

Workers' Rights Are Human Rights In a rebuke of the Bush Board, an agency of the United Nations ruled that the NLRB’s decision to broaden the definition of supervisor was in violation of core international labor standards.  The International Labor Organization (ILO) charged that three 2006 supervisor decisions “appear to give rise to an overly wide definition of supervisory staff that would go beyond freedom of association principles… [and] might lead to the exclusion of wide categories of workers from protection of their freedom of association rights.”

In response to a complaint filed by the AFL-CIO, the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association Committee reiterated that supervisors are “only those persons who genuinely represent the interests of employers,” which is contrary to the Bush Board’s new definition of a supervisor, which includes those with “minor or sporadic oversight over co-workers.”  The committee also expressed concern about the potential “clogging of the representation and collective bargaining process through an increase in appeals filed by employers with a view to challenging the status of employees in bargaining units.”

The ILO committee recommended that the U.S. government take the necessary steps to ensure that only true supervisors are excluded from the protections of the National Labor Relations Act.  The United States is bound to uphold international labor standards, including the freedom of association, as a member of the ILO.  Are you paying attention, members of Congress?  You have a chance to right this wrong.