General Secretaries of international unions covering workers across the world economy agreed on Wednesday (June 11) to target union organising rights in major transnational companies, including global media corporations, in the coming year.
The campaign will particularly target major multinational companies based in the United States where union rights have been badly undermined in recent years. American companies routinely deny workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions or to bargain for better working conditions. They intimidate, harass, coerce and even dismiss workers who try to form unions. This corporate culture of anti-unionism is inevitably injected into their global trade networks.
Key to the campaign will be support for Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a law currently before the US Congress that will restore workers' freedom to choose a union by establishing stronger penalties for violations of the right to form a union and by establishing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
"The battle for workers' rights in the United States is vital to winning union rights and decent working conditions for journalists and media staff within global media as a whole," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists after the meeting of labour leaders at the headquarters of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva.
"Among the big players in the global economy are some information, communications and media conglomerates that are serial violators of core labour standards."
America's working people are struggling to make ends meet these days and the middle class is disappearing. The best opportunity working people have to get ahead economically is by uniting to bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits. Recent research has shown that some 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could.