Ordinarily I’d ignore such efforts to circumvent our sovereignty and rely on our own constitution, but since greedy public union bosses and those they have misled wish to take this avenue, I’ll play along. They may not like that too much, though.
I first saw this tactic of circumventing our sovereignty with James Taranto taking Brian Leiter, a left-liberal philosopher who teaches at the University of Chicago to task at the Wall Street Journal in his article, The Leiter Side of Union Thuggery.
Leiter makes two points on his page here,
1. Collective bargaining is, per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a human right.
2. There are circumstances in which violations of human rights call for unlawful actions, including violence.
Similarly, we now see supporters of the greedy public union bosses citing Amnesty International, who on March 17, 2011 issued their “Warning on US states’ plan to severely restrict workers’ rights .”
Addressing efforts in several states to roll back a portion of collective bargaining privileges of greedy public unions, Amnesty International’s trade union adviser Shane Enright warns, “State governors must withdraw support for these measures which, if adopted, would violate international law. The US has an obligation to uphold the rights of American workers - including the specific right to organize and bargain collectively.”
Additionally, they add, “Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday that undermines the ability of unions in the public sector to protect workers. The legislation also takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public employees, limiting their negotiation rights only to wages.”
Citing authority for issuing their warning to us, they state, “These rights are an essential foundation to the realisation of other rights, and are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, as well as conventions adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).”
Once again, we see that “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as authority for circumventing our sovereignty to impose “socialist International Law” on us and give greedy public union bosses what they demand from our dwindling paychecks, those of us lucky enough to still have a paycheck that is.
Both Amnesty International and Brian Leiter fall back on a single line of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 23 (4) “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests” as the basis for their claim of violating International Law.
They seem to miss, or ignore where in that same declaration is stated, Article 17 (2) “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”
Isn’t our wages, our paychecks “property?” Yet, greedy union bosses negotiate in secret with sympathetic politicians to arbitrarily give up more of our paycheck, or property to satisfy the greed of the public union?
Even if you do not consider paychecks in the private sector as “property,” how many have lost their property, their homes and been forced to give up much in the ‘Great Recession’ while greedy union bosses encourage riots to force and intimidate politicians to dig deeper into our pockets?
Article 19 “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Except if you take a stand in asking greedy public unions to pay their fair share? Then, the death threats issued, union goons likely assault you, riot in the streets and destroy your property?
A History of Union Murder and Sabotage
Big Labor’s legacy of violence
Article 20 (2) “No one may be compelled to belong to an association.”
Try working for some of these agencies and refuse entry into the “association,” the union.
Article 21 (3) “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
The “people” expressed their will in the last election and newly elected officials acted on their behalf. Also of note, the unions efforts towards “card check,” doing away with the “Secret Ballot” in order to form a union.
Article 23 (1) “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”
Right to Work and Free choice of employment” Only if you accept being forced to join the union and your union dues are up to date?
Article 30 “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.”
By reading collective bargaining for any little thing their greedy little violent heart’s desire into that single line at Article 23 (4), are they not using a section of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to bring about the “destruction of our rights and freedoms,” as outlined elsewhere in the document?
Little wonder that we can look back to 1937 and the words of then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he said in part to the National Federation of Federal Employees,
“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”
“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”
On the contrary to claims by Amnesty International and any others relying on Article 23 (4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asking greedy public union to pay their fair share during such dire economic times as these and legislating what they may collective bargain for, wages mostly, is not a violation of International Law.
However, reading the rest of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, seeing the conduct displayed by union rioters, the strong arm tactics to confiscate more of our wages and forcing potential employees to join a union in order to work, it is clear to this blogger that it is the greedy public unions who are actually in violation of International Law.
Don’t blame me; this is the road they chose to go down.