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Resolution No. 26 - Right to Organize and Collectively Bargain

RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN
Submitted by: IFT Executive Board

WHEREAS, collective bargaining promotes workplace democracy, reduces conflict through the resolution of labor disputes, honors existing collective bargaining agreements, and ensures recognition and protection of workers’ voices, rights, wages, benefits, and working conditions; and

WHEREAS, unionized workers are better trained and more highly skilled than non-unionized workers leading to a safer and more stable work environment which results in 27 percent greater productivity; and

WHEREAS, the right to collectively bargain resulted in the eight-hour work day, the forty-hour work week, healthcare, retirement security, and wage standards that built the middle class in the United States; and

WHEREAS, in 2011, Wisconsin banned bargaining over benefits and working conditions and limited wage increases to the Consumer Price Index for all public employees; and

WHEREAS, in 2012, Michigan and Indiana became the twenty-third and twenty-fourth states to pass so called “right-to-work” laws restricting worker rights and driving down wages; and

WHEREAS, the Illinois Policy Institute, an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) affiliate, is expanding resources to pass right-to-work legislation in Illinois; and

WHEREAS, the percentage of private sector workers in the United States with a union job has declined from approximately 35 percent at its peak to less than 7 percent in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the share of income going to the top 10 percent of society increases as the percentage of union workers declines; and

WHEREAS, the average CEO in the United States makes 380 times as much as the average worker; and

WHEREAS, the average Walmart worker would have to work one thousand years to earn as much as Walmart CEO Michael T. Duke earns in a single year; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) supports legislation and public policies to secure the right of all workers, public and private, to organize and collectively bargain; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT reaffirms a commitment to organize public and private sector workers in Illinois and educate current members regarding the value of a collective voice for ALL WORKERS; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT supports other organized labor affiliates in their concerted actions to secure the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the IFT will strongly encourage the Illinois American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO to use their resources to advocate for legislation at the state and federal levels to protect and facilitate workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain.

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