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Employee Rights are Human Rights

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:51 PM
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10th, 1948.

For 61 years these rights have been declared.

Under this declaration of human rights, it states that as humans are free to associate. This declaration of a human right to be permitted to associate should have created a ripple effect through the work force like nobody has ever seen.

But many, many decades later.. we still find ourselves struggling to understand that the rights of an employee are not the issues of labour management. It is the issue of human rights.

Information obtained during the most recent survey indicates that in 2007, 4,480,020 workers were union members. This represents a slight increase of 39,020 members compared to the 4,441,000 members accounted for in the previous year. Consequently, the unionization rate or union density (union membership as a percentage of non-agricultural paid employment) is 30.3% for 2007. This is close to the union density figure calculated by Statistics Canada, which is estimated at 29.3% for the first 6 months of 2007.

Canadian Union Membership Statistics

In 2007, less than 3 of every 10 employees were unionized. So less than 3 of every 10 employees have a body that is standing for their rights. Less than 3 of every 10 have associated, as they are permitted to under the Declaration of Human Rights. Of that 70%, it concerns me to no end to know what percentage of that group were denied the ability to associate. Corporations such as Wal-Mart deny this and attempt to minimize it as a labour issue that they can attempt to control. But again I state, this is not and should not be deemed a labour issue to be decided by management. It is a human rights issue.

Here in Nova Scotia, our government has been consistently attempting to remove the right to strike for thousands and thousands of its employees. Our government concedes our right to associate but seeks to undermine the one bit of leverage we possess at the negotiating table. Most critics on this issue will say it is not a political issue and try to sweep it under the rug of a labour standard. But here in my home town, they've gone one further by actually bringing it into the political spectrum and attempting to remove these rights from our employees.

Unions are not pro-strike or anti-work. We stand for the rights of our members and when those rights are being exploited, we need to possess the adequate leverage in order to have our rights met. On a weekly basis I read of bus drivers being docked 30% of their pay and 2 hours of work a day. Then the union steps in and defends these employees. Defends their human rights.

In the United States, statistics indicate that the national average is approximately 12.1%. So basically 1 in every 10 people are unionized.

It is not just all around the world that human rights are exploited. Here in the western world we are witnessing the denial of human rights and one that gets little to no recognition is the unwillingness of employers to have their employees associate.

A link worth the read: Walmart & Unions

With the current economic climate, now more than ever the frontline worker is going to feel the pinch and they will and are the first to pay for the mess that they did not create. While even those employees that are unionized are not free from this nightmare, they at least have the satisfaction of knowing that come bargaining season, they have the support of a body that will stand for them and push for better pay and a better working environment. Without that body, you are left to fend for yourself.

Employee Rights are Human Rights and I think it is long over due for us as employees to begin to realize this.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 08:22 AM
I work for a CVS/opharmacy, near greenwich CT. Been wih the company for 14 years now..and im happy this post was put here. For the past 7 or 8 years, ive been totaly mistreated by management and staff. They hire ilegal immigrants, that also have mistreated me, persoanlly and because im not latino. Ive been harrassed, followed home by emlpoyees serving the manager, and a muslim pharmicist tried exposing himself to me.
The DM loves to fire people especially those who complain. And the state board of labor, dosnt want to get invovled, unelss its a sexual harrassemnt thing. Those OSHA and empoyee rights posters in our breakroom, are jsut requried to be posted by reality no one really least outside of unions.
3 weeks ago, manager tellsme, thier might be people coming around with petitons, looking to unionize...from corporate CVS and down, DO NOT sign the papers,, if yuo do, immediate termination. Also the manager informed me, no one is going to help you,, with a evil look on his face. Yesterday, same thig pretty much. I was told, if a store, get unionized,t hat means layoffs... so someones either lying to me, or ive been mis informed..i thought unions were their to protect the small man? manager at CVS says in a sense no, their looinig to take control and lay off. So, im a little lost on this.
Since ive started with CVSm, it was a fun company to work for..but since about 2000, ironically since bush was in office, equal treatment has gone down hill. They want obidient workers, who will not stand up and speak and tell the truth, while being raped...that is what ive learned. boycott cvs!!

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by ziggy1706

Thank you for your story. It is a common theme in a lot of work places and it is a theme that goes unnoticed. A lot of people chalk it up to war stories and people simply victimizing themselves. But it is the truth and it does happen. We live in a materialistic society. We operate under the need of the almighty dollar. Without employment, we can not provide for ourselves or our loved ones. For that reason, more concern needs to be given to these issues.

About a year ago, a lady who worked for a major gas station for almost 9 years was fired because someone filled their tank and skipped out on paying. The employer stated that the lady should have been more aware and done more to prevent the individual from leaving without paying. Approaching this realistically, what is she supposed to do? Confront the individual and put herself in harms way? She appealed to labour boards concerning her dismissal and ultimately it was upheld. It is an atrocity and a gross violation of our rights, in my opinion.

We live stressful lives as it is with job security. Those without it, it only adds to the problem that much more.

I know there are those who feel that the rights of an employee are not human rights, and I would really like to hear from them and initiate a discussion on the topic.

I've authored this thread in the Disinformation forum because I feel that there is much disinformation out there currently on unionism, on our rights and where exactly the buck should stop on this issue.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 03:07 AM
There used to be a concept known as "corporate ethics" or "corporate morality" that has increasingly fallen by the wayside in recent years.

Until very recently, I worked for a MAJOR telecommunications company. When I started there, it was loved by customers and employees alike (it was regional and actually cared about customer service...won JD Powers awards year after year after year). It was profitable, efficient, and a great place to work. It was acquired in a hostile takeover by a voracious and profit-only oriented company led by a madman CEO whose goal was to reassemble Ma Bell to the greatest extent possible (except for Qwest, which was a financial mess, and Verizon, which was too powerful to take on directly).

Over the past decade, money that could have been spent on expanding cable business and upgrading infrastructure to fibre was instead spent on shedding cable (because we are a TELEPHONE company) and scrimping on infrastructure to concentrate on mergers and acquisitions. Money was further saved by offshoreing jobs to India to a company that this US company owns a 75% majority share in. They save money at home, dump employees and make a profit in another country. Brilliant!

Union employees were treated like naughty get a 15 minute break...16 minutes and you get written up. No extra credit for 14 minutes, though.

Now some of the more egregious errors have been corrected, although the insane idea that DSL, digital video, and VOIP can all be delivered over 2 pair of copper wire as opposed to the truly fast fibre or coax connections that are the competition does not bode well.

That's all, really. I decided to accept a severance package from this awful megacorporation that doesn't give a damn for its employees or its customers, and whose stock was valued at about $70/share when I started working there, but now trades at about $24/share.

Great business model, eh?

Whose getting screwed?

All of us.

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