'Workers' Rights Are Human Rights'

As the daughter of parents who dedicated decades of their working lives to the public sector, I am completely behind the value of labor unions. The union my mother belonged to allows her to live comfortably in retirement after her divorce.

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As the daughter of parents who dedicated decades of their working lives to the public sector, I am completely behind the value of labor unions. The union my mother belonged to allows her to live comfortably in retirement after her divorce. It's no secret that as union membership has dropped, income inequality has risen.

It is sad therefore to me that the Democratic Party does not recognize nor strive to foster a better actual relationship with labor unions. It's one thing to pay lip service to it, it's another to set up the Democratic National Convention in the rabidly anti-union state of North Carolina. On Up with Chris Hayes, the entire first hour was devoted to the role of unions in the economy, its tenuous relationship with partisan politics and the how the diminishing union participation has hurt the average American worker.

Union member Saladin Muhammad reminds viewers that workers' rights are in fact, human rights, providing workers with the dignity of honest pay, benefits and safety in the workplace.

So as we take this three day holiday, let us not forget or take for granted that labor unions made it possible, as well as these other benefits:

Weekends without work
All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
Paid vacation
Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Sick leave
Social Security
Minimum wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII - prohibits employer discrimination
8-hour work day
Overtime pay
Child labor laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40-hour work week
Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
Unemployment insurance
Pensions
Workplace safety standards and regulations
Employer health care insurance
Collective bargaining rights for employees
Wrongful termination laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Whistleblower protection laws
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) - prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
Sexual harassment laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday pay
Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
Privacy rights
Pregnancy and parental leave
Military leave
The right to strike
Public education for children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 - requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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