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Labor & Employment Committee of the National Lawyers Guild open letter in solidarity with Walmart Workers

November 20, 2015

Re: Free Speech on Black Friday

To Workers and Their Allies:

For several years now, companies such as Walmart which benefit from nationwide, mass commercial activities on Black Friday have indicated to workers and their allies that free speech on Black Friday will not be tolerated on or around their properties. To those companies, the National Lawyers Guild responds here directly: the right to buy and the right to sell are not greater rights than the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Human rights -- of which free speech is one -- are and always will be more cherished values than their property rights.

The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We are dedicated to uniting the nation's lawyers, law students, and legal workers to function as an effective force int he service of the people and their voice.

This mission does not change on Black Friday. We stand with you.

Click here for a signed copy of our open letter.

International Commission for Labor Rights issues statement on Michigan's freeloader ("right to work") law.

To:       Governor Rick Snyder and
            All Members of the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate
From:  International Commission for Labor Rights
Re:       Legal Opinion Finding Right-to-Work Laws Illegal under Human Rights and Labor Law
Date:  December 10, 2012:  Human Rights Day
Dear Governor Snyder and all Members of the Michigan House and Senate:
The International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR) is an international network of over 300 labor lawyers and experts throughout the world who work pro bono on issues of fundamental labor and human rights law.  The issue of the potential passage of a Right-to-Work law in Michigan has come to our attention.
We are aware of the many arguments being made, but thus far we have not heard that anyone is questioning the legality of these laws.   The International Commission for Labor Rights attaches a short statement in which we find that these laws must be considered illegal under human rights and labor laws as they have developed since the Taft Hartley Amendments to the National Labor Relations Act in 1947.
We request that you consider this statement before taking the precipitous step, especially on Human Rights Day,  to abrogate the human and labor rights of workers in Michigan.

Read the statement here.

Nation's Workers Fight to Maintain Public Employee Collective Bargaining Rights

Workers across the country are fighting efforts to strip public workers of the right to bargain collectively.  Wisconsin is ground zero of a nationwide assault on public workers and workers' rights generally, but Wisconsin public workers are not alone: Anti-union legislation has been introduced in over twenty states, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Nevada, Oklahoma, Kansas, Idaho, Missouri, Michigan, South Carolina and Nebraska.

The right to organize and bargain collectively is a cornerstone of all worker protection.  Unions are critical because they defend the wages and dignity of all workers, even those without unions.

This attack isn't about state budgets.  It's about workers' rights, rights that workers have fought for over generations.

Legal Victory in Wisconsin!

Circuit Court Judge Juan B. Colás found that Scott Walker's union-busting law violated Wisconsin law in many ways, including violating equal protection and free speech. A summary of the story is here, and the full opinion can be downloaded here.

Building the Fightback: The TWU Campaign

This presentation was given on behalf of the NLG at the Congress of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers on May 13, 2011.

Click here for a PDF of the presentation.

Click here for the Power Point.

Click here to read "Why the Attack on Public Sector Workers is 'Ground Zero' for Democracy in America," by the Transport Workers Union Department of Strategic Planning.This account of the recent anti-union legislation shows why taking away union rights won't solve state budget crises and why defending union rights is so important for American workers.

Click here for a toolkit for the Workers' Rights are Human Rights campaign from the Transport Workers Union, AFL-CIO.

Take Action Now!  The AFL-CIO is fighting to defend the public workers of Wisconsin--and to prevent this anti-worker legislation from spreading: Click here to tell your state lawmakers "Not in my state!"

Click here to read "Collective Bargaining Rights Are Fundamental Human Rights-Denying Them is Illegal," from the International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR). Truth-out.org has published an article about the ICLR report.  Click here to read the article.

Click here to read "Taking Away Public Workers' Right to Bargain Isn't Just Wrong--It's Illegal," a press release from the NLG Labor & Employment Committee.

Information Organized by State

Michigan Wisconsin

Click here for an archive of this page.