Workers Have A Right To Organize

February 19, 2011

Protesters join forces to kill Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's bill during a rally at the Capital Building on February 18, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)

Amnesty International USA is deeply concerned by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. If enacted, the Governor’s proposal would undermine the ability of unions in the public sector to protect workers, including by limiting workers’ ability to object to work conditions.

Under international law, all workers have a human right to organize and to bargain collectively. These rights are an essential foundation to the realization of other rights, and are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as conventions adopted by the International Labor Organization.

Amnesty stands in solidarity with those seeking to defend collective bargaining rights anywhere these rights are threatened, and we urge Governor Walker and Wisconsin legislators to protect workers’ rights by rejecting any attempt to limit collective bargaining. We further call on the Governor to respect the right to peaceful protest and ensure that protesters are not intimidated or subjected to unnecessary or excessive force.