The right to organize unions, bargain freely and strike when necessary is being destroyed by employers and their representatives in government. Today, nearly one out of ten workers involved in union organizing drives is illegally fired by employers who wage a campaign of fear, threats, and slick propaganda to keep workers from exercising a genuinely free choice.
And as union membership falls, so do the wages of all working people, union and non-union alike. We support efforts to overcome these legal handicaps, especially in the South and Southwest where the laws are most hostile. We also must dedicate ourselves to fighting for a complete overhaul of this country's labor laws.
1. The Green Party supports the irreducible right of the working people, without hindrance, to form a union and to bargain collectively with their employer. This right was guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
a. We support the right of workers, without penalty, to inform other workers on the premises of a union being formed. This includes advertising and recruiting.
b. We support the right to organize has been eroded and diluted over the years by incremental infringements and restrictions, especially by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 passed over President Truman's veto. We stand for repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act. The right to organize has also been diminished by an aggressive anti-union offensive by employers who have undermined the law, and in many cases, brazenly violated it. To restore these legal rights, we call for the enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act.
2. It is imperative that employees enjoy workplace democracy, which includes the following:
a. The right to elect representatives to sit equally with management on the Board of Directors.
b. The right to fair and democratic elections of their own union officers.
c. No permanent replacement of striking workers.
d. No forced overtime.
e. Encourage flexible working schedules so employees can arrange our own time to deal with personal and family concerns
f. All workers, temporary or permanent, must be paid a living wage.
g. All workers must have health care coverage, at least half paid by employer, until the passage of universal health care.
h. All workers must have unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and access to a jobs search program when they are unemployed. This security applies to farm workers as well.
i. Require minimum pensions for all workers, fully vested and portable, that do not reduce social security benefits.
j. Mediation must be the first available solution to labor–management disputes with an agreed-upon time limit.
k. New union members must have the right to submit a first contract to binding arbitration at the request of the union.
l. Labor has the first right to buy out a company that is for sale or is going bankrupt, or being outsourced to another state or another country.
m. We support a law requiring employers who purchase or merge with other companies to honor all existing collective bargaining agreements and contracts.
o. Labor has the right to stock ownership and oversight of the investment of its own funds in the company where it works.
3. We support the enactment of living wage laws that apply to all workers. A major consequence of this law will be the lessening of the ever-widening gap between CEOs' income and workers' pay.
4. Agricultural and other excluded workers must be covered by federal labor laws, except where existing state laws offer more protection.
5. We encourage cooperative ownership and management of enterprises.
6. We support day-care service offered at every workplace when feasible, or reasonably near-by when not feasible at the workplace.
7. Management's ability to close its workplace and move to a lower-pay locale must be circumscribed to the degree that it protects the local workforce and their job security.
8. We support the establishment of a reduced-hour work week and at least one month of vacation per year for all workers.
9. The ever-widening gap between rich and poor is destructive of democracy and creates an uneven playing field for economic opportunity. Public welfare that depends on hand-outs from the corporate rich reduces democracy by that same amount. Every citizen must have the leverage necessary to become a productive member of the economy and the society in which we live.
10. All workers have a right to a safe and humane working environment. A lack of adequate enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws and/or insufficient standards put many workers at risk. We support the following safety policies:
a. Protect and enforce OSHA laws. We insist on adequate testing of equipment and funding of enforcement procedures.
b. Inform workers of workplace hazards. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers from those hazards.
c. Legislate full funding for worker safety programs at both the state and federal levels.
d. Insist on agricultural practices that don't endanger farm workers. Put agricultural practices under the jurisdiction of OSHA.
11. We stand firmly opposed to privatization and contracting-out of public services. A government that works for us would provide critical goods and services that should not be run for profit.