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U.S. Labor Law Fails to Protect Collective Bargaining
October 31, 2004

It’s well recognized that the ability to have a say in one’s working conditions is fundamental.  That’s why the right to form a union and engage in collective bargaining is considered a human right and a measure of democracy in the industrialized world.  So how is it that so few American workers have a collective voice about their working conditions?  Protection from being fired without just cause?  Or a union contract guaranteeing a level of wages and benefits?  Blame rests with the U.S. labor law system for failing to adequately protect workers’ rights to collective bargaining. 

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Why are Workers’ Rights Violations So Rampant?
October 31, 2004

The right to form a union and collectively bargain is a basic right, recognized by U.S. federal law since 1935 and universally recognized and protected around the world.  So why is it that over 20,000 workers are fired or discriminated against each year for union activities in this country?  One reason workers’ rights violations are so widespread is because the American labor law system offers terribly weak punishments.

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A Union Is Worth the Risk of Organizing
October 28, 2004

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous employers who use the threat of deportation to force workers to accept poor and unsafe work conditions, low wages, and little to no benefits. But everybody’s got a right—a universal human right—to fair wages and a safe working environment. Maria and Gerrardo, Salvadoran immigrants who came to this country to make a better life for their families, share their stories of why fighting for a union is worth the struggle.

> Read their story.
> Download a PDF.

Why Smithfield Workers Want a Union
October 15, 2004

The Smithfield Foods’ meatpackers struggle to form a union began in 1994, when workers sought union representation with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)  to address the poor conditions in the Tar Heel, North Carolina factory.  Injuries are a regular occurrence with the fast assembly line and the use of sharp knives. 

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Smithfield Violates Workers’ Right to Organize
October 15, 2004

On December 15, 2000, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge found Smithfield committed multiple labor law violations during Smithfield workers’ organizing efforts in 1994 and 1997.

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American Rights at Work is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers.


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