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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:10 AM

4. It's time for the Bill of Rights to extend to the workplace


I am pro-union, but presently working a state job in a right-to-work, anti-union state. While I certainly hope that unions can gain some traction in NC and across the country, I think that better workplace rights are a necessary pre-condition for any progress, whether union-centered or otherwise.

We Americans (hopefully) all embrace the Bill of Rights as a codification of fundamental, inalienable, and self-evident freedoms. Throughout American history, more and more of those freedoms have been 'incorporated' into state law via Supreme Court decisions. States are what charter corporations and issue licenses (dba's etc.) to private businesses. Yet for some strange reason many Americans, including too many here at DU, find it perfectly acceptable that one's right to free speech, one's freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and nearly every other civil right and liberty enshrined in our Constitution end at the workplace door. This is a ludicrous and pernicious notion. As we pursue any other means to gain workplace justice, we ought to always emphasize that our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms can and should be exercised at the times and places where we spend the majority of our waking hours: the workplace. A corporation gaining a charter from the state should only be possible with if said corporation agrees to respect the fundamental freedoms of its employees. Indeed, how can a state give a corporation a power which the state itself does not have? If a state must respect the First Amendment, etc., then so must the corporations it charters.


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