It’s Time to Restore Human Rights for America’s Workers: Out Front With John Sweeny


I hope everyone reading this will take part in one of the local events in the week leading up to Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.

This is the time to take a stand for the basic rights of America’s workers. Let’s face it: Today’s working families are on the brink of economic trauma—if they haven’t already been pushed over the edge. The middle class is disappearing under the burden of job insecurity and Wal-Martization, stagnating wages, unbearable gas and oil costs, unaffordable health care and vanishing pensions. The White House and congressional leadership could not be doing a better job of enriching the wealthy while picking the pockets of working families and the poor. They’re trying to cut $50 billion from such critical programs as Medicaid, health care, student loans and food stamps to continue billions in tax breaks on investment profits for the already rich. The best family security, middle-class-building tool in the world is a union card. Union workers earn better wages, receive better benefits and have a collective voice on the job—a real say in working conditions and the way the work gets done. They also have the collective power of the union movement and work together for laws and public policies that improve life for all working families.

But despite U.S. and international law intended to guarantee working people the basic human right to form unions and bargain collectively, employers take advantage of loopholes in the law to harass, intimidate, threaten and even fire workers when they try to exercise that right.

U.S. workers need unions today more than ever. And during the week leading up to Dec. 10—the anniversary of the 1948 signing of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights—in every part of America, from towns in California to Vermont, we will be demanding restoration of our rights.

Please join us. We need to build a united front telling our employers and our elected leaders that this is it—we refuse to accept the erosion of our basic human rights.

Here is what I hope you will do—and encourage friends, family and co-workers to do:

First, click the following link to find an International Human Rights Day event in your community and plan to be there:

Second, call your U.S. representative and senators now. Tell them:

Do not cut funds for crucial programs for working families and the poor, such as Medicaid, student loans and food stamps. Do not give one dime more in tax cuts to the rich. Support the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain collectively.

During the congressional recess, call your members of Congress at their local district offices (you can find the phone numbers at and Once they’re back in their Washington, D.C., offices, call them toll free at 1-800-393-1082.

Let’s get busy and reclaim our rights