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[PASSED] Protecting the Rights of Labour Unions

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[PASSED] Protecting the Rights of Labour Unions

Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:11 pm

Protecting the Rights of Labour Unions
Category: Regulation | Area of Effect: Labour Rights


The World Assembly,

Believing that the ability for workers to advocate for fair and equitable treatment is of vital importance,

Acknowledging the imbalance of power between workers and employers,

Avowing that detailed mandates are necessary to protect workers' rights,

Hereby:
  1. Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by employees for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions;
  2. Requires that labour unions operate autonomously from the employers to which they advocate;
  3. Prohibits employers from:
    1. preventing the formation or independent operation of labour unions,
    2. attempting to control the decisions or operation of labour unions,
    3. barring employees from operating or enrolling in labour unions,
    4. discriminating or retaliating against employees for creating, operating, or enrolling in labour unions,
    5. impeding the ability of labour unions to negotiate over the rights and interests of their enrolled employees, and
    6. refusing to negotiate in good faith with labour unions regarding the interests of their enrolled employees;
  4. Disallows labour unions from:
    1. employing staff who hold conflicts of interest which would compromise negotiations between employers and employees,
    2. acting in the interests of an employer at the expense of the interests or well-being of its enrolled employees,
    3. discouraging or coercing employees from exercising their workers' rights, and
    4. requiring enrolled employees to participate in demonstrations or retaliating against enrolled employees who choose not to; and
  5. Grants exceptions to the above provisions for compliance with prior WA legislation.
Co-authored by Sylh Alanor.

Hi! This is my first stab at drafting in the WA, so I'd appreciate any and all constructive feedback. This is a more union-focused replacement for GAR#530: Fairness in Collective Bargaining, written as a companion piece for the repeal also currently in drafting.

All replies will be OoC unless otherwise indicated.

Last edit: 2021/03/01 16:10 PST
Last edited by Sedgistan on Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:43 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:12 pm

This is a changelog to track modifications to the text made after the original time of publication. Changes will not be timestamped, but will be listed chronologically from top (oldest) to bottom (newest). The previous text will be marked in red, and the new text will be marked in green.

1. Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by workers in a particular trade, industry, or company for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions -> Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by employees in one or more particular trades, industries, or companies for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions

3(b). attempting to influence the decisions or operation of labour unions -> attempting to control the decisions or operation of labour unions

Minor list formatting changes involving semicolons and commas

3(d). discriminating or retaliating against employees for creating, operating or enrolling in labour unions,

4(c). discouraging or coercing against the use of workers' rights -> discouraging or coercing employees from exercising their workers' rights

1. Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by employees in one or more particular trades, industries, or companies for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions

3(e). restricting the ability of labour unions and their participants to perform nonviolent demonstrations
Last edited by Junitaki-cho on Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Scalizagasti » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:09 pm

Junitaki-cho wrote:Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by workers in a particular trade, industry, or company for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions;

"This definition would exclude larger labour unions which cover multiple trades, industries, and employers."
OOC: An example is the United Food and Commercial Workers in Canada, which has workers in various industries including retail, agriculture, healthcare, and more.

Junitaki-cho wrote:attempting to influence the decisions or operation of labour unions;

"Here, 'influence' needs to be better defined or replaced with a more precise term. I would say that negotiating -- which is vital in the union-employer relationship -- is indeed a type of influence. I understand the idea you are attempting to convey, but the wording needs to be altered."

"Overall, I support this resolution. If the repeal of Fairness in Collective Bargaining succeeds, it is crucial that it be replaced by another piece of legislation that protects the rights of workers to form a union and collectively bargain."
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:36 pm

Scalizagasti wrote:"This definition would exclude larger labour unions which cover multiple trades, industries, and employers."
OOC: An example is the United Food and Commercial Workers in Canada, which has workers in various industries including retail, agriculture, healthcare, and more.

This is a good point. Would "Defines a "labour union" as an entity formed by workers in one or more particular trades, industries, or companies for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions" address this sufficiently?

Scalizagasti wrote:"Here, 'influence' needs to be better defined or replaced with a more precise term. I would say that negotiating -- which is vital in the union-employer relationship -- is indeed a type of influence. I understand the idea you are attempting to convey, but the wording needs to be altered."

How would you feel about "attempting to control the decisions or operation of labour unions"? Other options might be "coerce" or "compromise." I'm very reluctant to introduce more definitions unless they're totally necessary - I think they impact readability a lot - so I want to find a way for the text to speak for itself.
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:31 am

Texkentuck wrote:<snip>

"Your delegation's support for light beer is noted."

I've made the two changes from the previous post, indicated in the changelog, and look forward to further feedback.
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Postby Scalizagasti » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:49 pm

"After reviewing the changes, I do not see any glaring holes in this resolution. I will support it for now, unless some new issues come to light that I had not considered."
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Postby Dusendord » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:29 am

Nice , this will really help
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Postby Boston Castle » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:38 am

Two minor things, though I do want to say: this proposal is very polished right off the bat and I'm quite impressed.

Either way:

1. In clauses three and four, might be best to put commas after the subclauses rather than semi-colons. Your call obviously, but I've always done commas with the subclauses and a semi-colon after the last subclause.

2. In 4(d), the comma between "demonstrations" and "or" is extraneous.
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:13 pm

Thanks for the kind words and suggestions! I think you're right that commas make the text look a little lighter, visually. Changes made accordingly.
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Postby Asvalya » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:21 pm

I am very impressed by this proposal, this is exactly what was needed for unions. Really grateful for your efforts!
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:25 pm

I appreciate the positive feedback! I'm glad folks find some value in this. I'd like to briefly mention that this does have a companion proposal to repeal GAR#530, which implemented fairly weak and exploitable union laws. That draft hasn't gotten much attention, and we'd love to hear some suggestions on its text.
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Postby Junitaki-cho » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:05 pm

I'm going ahead and shifting this to last call to mirror the repeal's status. Any further commentary would be appreciated. Otherwise, this will be submitted in the event that the repeal receives a favourable response at vote.
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Postby Scalizagasti » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:44 pm

"Overall this resolution looks good to me and I still support it. One minor suggestion I have is to include the creation of labour unions in clause 3(d). As it stands discrimination on the grounds of operation or membership is forbidden, but before a union is formally established it is possible to discriminate against those attempting to unionize."
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Postby Jedinsto » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:16 pm

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Postby Junitaki-cho » Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:30 pm

Scalizagasti wrote:"Overall this resolution looks good to me and I still support it. One minor suggestion I have is to include the creation of labour unions in clause 3(d). As it stands discrimination on the grounds of operation or membership is forbidden, but before a union is formally established it is possible to discriminate against those attempting to unionize."

Good call. I've added creation to 3(d) and clarified the language on 4(c). Any further input is welcome.
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Postby Maowi » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:45 pm

OOC:I like the fact you've put in a definition of the term "labour union," and I think it works well overall. I'd just say that in definitions, generality is often ideal IMO - you can probably afford to drop the phrase "in one or more particular trades, industries, or companies" without losing any meaning, really, which would also remove an unnecessary opportunity for weaselly lawyering by companies or member states to try and exclude certain groups. Although if that was in for a specific reason definitely feel free to correct me on that.

You have a small typo in clause 2 (repetition of "the").

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Postby Junitaki-cho » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:55 pm

Maowi wrote:OOC:I like the fact you've put in a definition of the term "labour union," and I think it works well overall. I'd just say that in definitions, generality is often ideal IMO - you can probably afford to drop the phrase "in one or more particular trades, industries, or companies" without losing any meaning, really, which would also remove an unnecessary opportunity for weaselly lawyering by companies or member states to try and exclude certain groups. Although if that was in for a specific reason definitely feel free to correct me on that.

You have a small typo in clause 2 (repetition of "the").

Good point. I've removed that portion of the definition in the hopes of creating a less vulnerable definition, and fixed the typographical error. Thanks for looking this over!
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Postby The Langburn Islands » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:10 am

"Ambassador, the Commonwealth of the Langburn Islands supports this proposal in principle as we support the World Assembly establishing stronger workplace rights for citizens of all member nations. Trade and labour unions are the reasons why individuals all around the world are able to enjoy safety, security and happiness at work.

However, we are opposed in principle to clause 4.d due to our belief that such a restriction on labour unions preventing unions from requiring enrolled employee members to participate in demonstrations in all circumstances and situations undermines the ability of unions to build solidarity and demonstrate worker power against employers. If the members of a union democratically in a majority vote decide to undertake industrial action, all enrolled employee members of the union should be required to undertake industrial action. Any enrolled employee member of the union who refuses to do so and chooses to cross the picket line should be penalised by the union for doing so as selfish actions like this undermine every single member of the union's future and workplace conditions. We respectfully ask that clause 4.d be removed from the proposal.

We have no other concerns regarding the proposal."

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Postby Mancheseva City » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:22 am

Junitaki-cho wrote:[*]Prohibits employers from:
  1. preventing the formation or independent operation of labour unions,
  2. attempting to control the decisions or operation of labour unions,
  3. barring employees from operating or enrolling in labour unions,
  4. discriminating or retaliating against employees for creating, operating, or enrolling in labour unions,
  5. restricting the ability of labour unions and their participants to perform nonviolent demonstrations,
  6. impeding the ability of labour unions to negotiate over the rights and interests of their enrolled employees, and
  7. refusing to negotiate in good faith with labour unions regarding the interests of their enrolled employees;

[*]Disallows labour unions from:
  1. employing staff who hold conflicts of interest which would compromise negotiations between employers and employees,
  2. acting in the interests of an employer at the expense of the interests or well-being of its enrolled employees,

In this clause what exactly does "in the interests of an employer" mean? I feel like this could be interpreted very differently so I would clarify here
  • discouraging or coercing employees from exercising their workers' rights, and
  • requiring enrolled employees to participate in demonstrations or retaliating against enrolled employees who choose not to; and

  • The resolution that is being replaced (and probably will be) contains two additional clauses, prohibiting labour unions from "requiring excessive dues" and from "deliberately influencing an employer to pay for unneeded workers".

    While I do understand the wording in those clauses might be lacking, I think you could include them in one way or the other (plus of course it would be plagiarism if you just copied them anyway). Otherwise, it really would make no sense to allow labour unions to require a ridiculously high wage and go on a strike after it's denied.

    My suggestion would be to include a clause similar to the last one about employers - prohibit labour unions from negotiating in bad faith with employers. This would probably fix the problem (depending on whether "in bad faith" is clear enough language).


    And another thing regarding the whole resolution - I'm not sure if it is expansive enough and protects workers enough, as of now, and it is not much of an improvement over the repeal target, in my opinion. There are not a lot of resolutions on labour unions, this is probably the only one. I think a good solution would be to expand on what exactly "in good/bad faith" means, because that way the resolution would make it clearer what employees can and can't do once an agreement with the union is reached.

    Overall, I do think it is a very good proposal and would be a worthy replacement - I'm just trying to think of things that would make it even better

    EDIT: I have been notified that there is in fact one resolution on labour unions, but it doesn't really concern this topic and instead focuses more on strikes and union governance so my point still stands.

    I have also been notified that mods don't like colours too much, but I tried to make these colours not too obnoxious, plus they serve a purpose of separating my two arguments for what it's worth
    Last edited by Mancheseva City on Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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    Postby Junitaki-cho » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:17 am

    Mancheseva City wrote:The resolution that is being replaced (and probably will be) contains two additional clauses, prohibiting labour unions from "requiring excessive dues" and from "deliberately influencing an employer to pay for unneeded workers".

    While I do understand the wording in those clauses might be lacking, I think you could include them in one way or the other (plus of course it would be plagiarism if you just copied them anyway). Otherwise, it really would make no sense to allow labour unions to require a ridiculously high wage and go on a strike after it's denied.

    My suggestion would be to include a clause similar to the last one about employers - prohibit labour unions from negotiating in bad faith with employers. This would probably fix the problem (depending on whether "in bad faith" is clear enough language).

    Dues are fees paid by union members to the union for their participation, not wages paid by employers to employees. These two clauses are two of the reasons we pushed to repeal GAR#530, as they have detrimental implications for the viability and strength of unions. I'm not inclined to introduce those problems into the replacement, and I don't think those points contribute anything to the overall strength of the proposal.

    Regarding the language of "good faith," this is a commonly used term in extant real world law, which is why I've introduced it here as-is. The use of "employers' interests," etc., while subjective to a degree, is much clearer in the sense that everyone can agree it means "to the benefit of the employer," and there's not a ton of wiggle room to argue about when that's true.
    And another thing regarding the whole resolution - I'm not sure if it is expansive enough and protects workers enough, as of now, and it is not much of an improvement over the repeal target, in my opinion. There are not a lot of resolutions on labour unions, this is probably the only one. I think a good solution would be to expand on what exactly "in good/bad faith" means, because that way the resolution would make it clearer what employees can and can't do once an agreement with the union is reached.

    I respectfully disagree. GAR#530 protected employers more than it protected their workers, leaving a lot of room for unions to be disrupted and providing very few actual rights to unions and members. I recognize that this isn't as far-reaching as a real-world law might be, but I've tried to be comprehensive in ensuring that, in tandem with GAR#43, unions are able to form and operate freely, with a few checks to make sure they're acting on their clients' behalf. If there are specific protections you feel are missing, I welcome all suggestions, but I'm not sure what could be added here without exploding the legislative scope. (The nuts and bolts of collective bargaining practices, for instance, are a workers' rights issue, but probably really belong in their own dedicated law with all due considerations.)
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    Postby Jedinsto » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:38 am

    "We support the repeal due to this replacement. This is very well written and we give you our full support."
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    Postby Ardiveds » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:35 am

    Junitaki-cho wrote:
    Mancheseva City wrote:
    The resolution that is being replaced (and probably will be) contains two additional clauses, prohibiting labour unions from "requiring excessive dues" and from "deliberately influencing an employer to pay for unneeded workers".

    While I do understand the wording in those clauses might be lacking, I think you could include them in one way or the other (plus of course it would be plagiarism if you just copied them anyway). Otherwise, it really would make no sense to allow labour unions to require a ridiculously high wage and go on a strike after it's denied.

    My suggestion would be to include a clause similar to the last one about employers - prohibit labour unions from negotiating in bad faith with employers. This would probably fix the problem (depending on whether "in bad faith" is clear enough language).

    Dues are fees paid by union members to the union for their participation, not wages paid by employers to employees. These two clauses are two of the reasons we pushed to repeal GAR#530, as they have detrimental implications for the viability and strength of unions. I'm not inclined to introduce those problems into the replacement, and I don't think those points contribute anything to the overall strength of the proposal.

    Regarding the language of "good faith," this is a commonly used term in extant real world law, which is why I've introduced it here as-is. The use of "employers' interests," etc., while subjective to a degree, is much clearer in the sense that everyone can agree it means "to the benefit of the employer," and there's not a ton of wiggle room to argue about when that's true.

    OOC: I do think there should be a clause that prevents unions from charging union members exorbitant sums just to be in the union, especially since there's nothing here stopping unions from making union membership mandatory for people wishing to practice a certain profession.
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    Postby Junitaki-cho » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:53 pm

    Ardiveds wrote:OOC: I do think there should be a clause that prevents unions from charging union members exorbitant sums just to be in the union, especially since there's nothing here stopping unions from making union membership mandatory for people wishing to practice a certain profession.

    I think that's out of scope for this resolution. There's a lot of room for future proposals to regulate the more granular details of union operations and conduct, but the goal here is to lay out key protections. I'm definitely not opposed to dues being reasonably regulated in the right context.
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    Postby Junitaki-cho » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:29 pm

    This proposal has been marked illegal by Bananaistan, with the rationale "Contradiction and duplication of existing legislation (see GAR#43)." I dispute this claim and see no contradiction or substantial duplication between my draft and GAR#43; #43 is focused almost entirely, barring clause 9, on the relationship between governments and labour unions, while my proposal (and the repealed GAR#530 which was marked legal) looks at protecting unions from employers. I'd appreciate further justification for this call because I don't understand where the conflict lies.
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    Postby Bananaistan » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:39 pm

    OOC: Sorry, I hadn't realised there was a drafting thread. If I had I would have asked questions here before ruling.

    But anyway, the problem is that GAR#43 allows member nations to restrict labour rights as regards certain employees under section 3b, eg "medical and police personnel". This proposal under section 3e contradicts this.
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