Religious Leaders Celebrate NLRB Ruling on Workers’ Rights
In a modest but important victory for workers’ rights, the National Labor Relations Board announced a rule change today that will protect workers’ ability to hold democratic elections to form a union. The ruling limits the opportunities for corporate lawyers to unfairly influence elections, a common union-busting tactic.
Diverse faith traditions affirm the dignity of labor and support the rights of workers to organize for just wages, fair benefits, and safe working conditions. Several national religious leaders spoke out in support of the NLRB ruling.
Highlighting how attacks on workers undermine the common good, Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, said:
“This sensible rule change is an important victory for workers and should be applauded by anyone who believes in fair union elections. Catholic teaching and diverse faith traditions support the vital role of unions in serving the common good and defending the dignity of work. The growing attacks on workers’ rights across the country are a moral scandal. CEOs and politicians attempting to demonize unions and hurt working families are wrong. We know that our nation is better when all have a seat at the negotiating table. This is a step in that direction.”
Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, praised the ruling for strengthening fair union elections:
“The United Methodist Church supports the rights of workers and believes both workers and employers have a responsibility to bargain in good faith, including during the period when workers decide whether to form a union. Stall tactics and intimidation undermine workers’ rights and have no place in the process. I’m pleased with the NLRB’s ruling that will help ensure free and fair elections while protecting the rights of hardworking Americans.”
Kim Bobo, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, added:
“I applaud this terrific ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which will make it easier and more fair for workers to decide whether they want to form a union. Without this step forward, anti-union employers have too much power to intimidate workers and stop them from expressing their voice on the job.”
The NLRB decision helps level the playing field in labor relations between workers and corporate leaders, according to Rev. Nelson Rivers III, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina, and Vice President for Stakeholder Relations at the NAACP:
“Even in the 21st century, too many American workers face barriers to justice and dignity in the workplace. Overcoming these obstacles requires not only hard work and prayer, but also rules that allow workers to exercise their right to organize. The NLRB’s new ruling on union elections serves this noble purpose, and I commend it.”