Bet You Didn’t Know

The AFL-CIO recently released a survey of the attitudes of American workers, entitled “Workers’ Rights in America: What Workers Think About Their Jobs and Employers.”
Stand up        Some of the findings are not surprising. For example, 98% of American workers agree that it is either essential or very important to protect employees’ rights to a safe and healthy workplace. What is more surprising–and what may lend some insight into why labor unions have been so ineffective in organizing new workers over the last thirty years–is how many U.S. workers think they have rights that simply do not exist.
        For example, 80% of workers believe they have a right to be free from retaliation from their employers for expressing their political views. After all, isn’t that what the right to free speech is all about?
        Fully two-thirds of Americans believe that their employers are legally prohibited from listening in on their phone calls. Doesn’t the Constitution protect the right to privacy?
        Sixty percent of Americans believe their employers are legally required to provide them with paid sick leave.
        As those of us in the business of defending workers’ rights know, of course, most of us do not have these rights. While the rights of free speech and privacy are supposed to protect us from governmental intrusion, they do not protect us from our private-sector employers. Anti-eavesdropping laws generally do not protect us from intrusions by our employers on work premises. Finally, employers are generally not required to provide paid leave of any sort, let alone sick leave. The survey also reveals that more than 90% of U.S. workers believe they should have these rights.
        Surprised? To get more information, go to the
AFL-CIO Steward Activist page and get involved. Your future and the future you make for your children depends on what you do today.