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AFT stands with UN workers in fight
for union rights

Sign Petition to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

On October 16, the AFT Executive Council passed a resolution to support unions representing employees of the United Nations as they fight to have a voice in the decisions that affect their working conditions, professional careers and quality of life. 

Randi, Fran and UN union leader

(Left to Right) AFT president Randi Weingarten, AFT executive president Francine Lawrence and Barbara Tavora-Jainchill, president of the United Nations Staff Union.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made a drastic move to withdraw the rights of U.N. staff unions to negotiation and mediation with management. This unilateral action by the secretary-general is a serious step back for U.N. workers and totally disregards international labor rights promoted in U.N. policies and standards for member countries.

This clear-cut breach of employees' rights has occurred despite the fact that it is the United Nations, through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that proclaims the right of workers to join unions. It is also the United Nations, through the International Labor Organization, that fights for these rights on behalf of workers worldwide.

Public employees support UN workers

"The United Nations has every moral and pragmatic obligation to treat its own employees with dignity and respect," says AFT vice president Adam Urbanski. "The U.N. cannot be an effective and credible voice supporting human rights if it does not extend these same rights to its own workers"

The AFT stands in solidarity with the U.N. staff unions as they move forward to secure the fundamental rights guaranteed to all workers. AFT President Randi Weingarten called on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately back the restoration of labor rights to U.N. workers.

The AFT is circulating the "Stand Up for U.N. Workers!" petition urging U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take immediate steps to reverse his decision. AFT affiliates are also sending photos for posting on the U.N. Staff Union Facebook page. Send your photo of support to eduncan@aft.org.