Protecting the Freedom of Collective Bargaining

I am a member of Teamster Local 120. I have been a member for the last 15 years and a Union Steward for the last 18 months.  It should come as no surprise that the radical right-wing insurgency has been conducting a war to take down unions all over the United States. That is a war they must not win. Working people everywhere need a seat and a voice at the collective bargaining table to demand higher wages, universal health care, a protected full retirement and a safe working atmosphere. Public sector unions provide that seat and voice. We must make it easier for American workers to create a collective union. We need to enhance the collective bargaining rights of all American workers.

            I believe the right of workers and employers to create their own independent organizations is a fundamental precondition for collective bargaining and social dialogue. So, what is collective bargaining and freedom of association?  It is as a way for employees and employers to resolve disputes on issues affecting their theater of work and is intimately connected to freedom of association. This right of workers and employers to establish their independent organizations is the basic prerequisite for collective bargaining and social dialogue. Freedom of association is the basic right of the international labor force. It gives the employee and employers the right to (free of interference) create or join organizations to defend their workplace interests, and is guaranteed regardless of sex, color, race ethnic group, nationality or political affiliation. Collective bargaining is a process where employers and unions negotiate their affairs in the workplace to reach a mutual collective agreement.

            These freedoms, to associate and to bargain collectively, are fundamental rights of any democracy. Robust and independent employees’ and employers’ organizations are an effective recognition of their right to participate in collective bargaining and are fundamental and essential tools for labor market economy. Collective bargaining is a way of reaching creative and fruitful resolutions to potentially conflictual relationships involving employees and employers. It’s a process of building faith and trust between two parties through negotiation and satisfaction of the diverse interests of the negotiating interests. Collective bargaining plays this role by encouraging diplomatic, inclusive and democratic involvement of representative employees and employers.

            The importance of collective bargaining in the twenty-first century ascends from its capacity as a strong tool for engagement between employers and employees to focus on economic and social matters. It can consolidate the weak voices of the individual to be stronger, decrease poverty and social weakness. This can be done by employing collective bargaining to the demands of both parties and endorsing voluntary contracts that sustain the well-being of individuals and companies. Collective bargaining participates in a significant role in enriching the enterprise operation, managing change and building congruous industrial relations.

            When unions are robust and sturdy, the middle class will stay strong. And if I am elected to the Unites States Senate in 2018, I will do everything I can to represent your voice and place at that table.

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