Monday, April 23, 2012

Collective Bargaining IS A Right Dipshit

If you have been to any teabilly rallies or even just perused the comment thread on Wisconsin newspapers online where the RWNJ trolls are paid to occupy you will inevitably hear their exasperated cry that union members should just suck it up because:

"Collective bargaining is a privilege not a right!"

See, your union is like having an American Express card - the privilege of membership is bestowed unto thee by tolerant company bosses - so just shut about it and quit bellyaching about your collective bargaining rights.

More than a few teabilly slogans have an up-is-down quality to them. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" is a perennial favorite. The claim that "collective bargaining is a job perk" is just the newest of the factually incorrect taglines from the book of "Morans."

Even Scott Walker has intoned the theme:
"They defined it as a rights issue. It's not a rights issue. It's an expensive entitlement."
Like almost everything he says, Scott Walker and his zombie followers are wrong.

Article 23 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights - which the United States was a proud signer more than half a century ago says:
"4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."
Now, maybe you're one of those kind who think UN declarations are just for folks in the Congo and not red-blooded Americans. Well then, there is the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)...which is actually a law...in the United States. It says:
The NRLA "explicitly grants employees the right to collectively bargain and join trade unions" according to the scholars at Cornell University Law School." Or as the National Labor Relations Board's website puts it, the NLRA "protects employees' rights to act together, with or without a union, to improve working terms and conditions, including wages and benefits."
Notice how both the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the National Labor Relations Act make no distinction between public and private unions either...both are considered to be a basic right. However if neither International Declarations nor Federal law appeal to the average teabilly let's just refer to one of their scared documents...
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."