The Chicago Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board
The failure of U.S. labor law to protect workers’ right to organize and associate freely on the job has provided the conditions that have made possible the radical increase in temporary, low-wage and low- or no-benefit jobs. Because of this, we have witnessed in the last decade the reemergence and apparent legitimization, in the name of protecting profits, employer intimidation of workers and retaliation for organizing. Political attacks on public sector workers are further eroding unions’ bargaining power.
This climate makes the Workers’ Rights Board (WRB) an essential tool for protecting workers and their communities. The WRB draws together the power of community leaders with moral authority- clergy, elected officials, academics, and community to exert political pressure in support of workers’ rights to organizeunions, bargain collectively, and improve their working and living conditions. The Workers’ Rights Board is the moral voice of the community when labor laws fall short.
Primary goals of the Workers’ Rights Board
- Confront employers accused of violating workers’ rights.
- Establish community standards about fairness in the workplace
- Support and strengthen workers’ democratic rights through community education
- Investigate and publicize the social costs of unjust working conditions
The Workers’ Rights Board Toolbox
- Sending delegations to management or relevant public officials to request positive action, including neutrality, during elections
- Writing letters to management, customers, or Boards of Directors
- Doing public relations work, including TV and radio appearances, public debates, writing press releases and letters to the editor
- Holding public hearings on workers’ issues, especially as they impact the community
- Conducting card check elections
- Demonstrating solidarity with workers at rallies and other public actions