Labor activists observe Human Rights Day

Chris Phillips of Portland Jobs with Justice leaflets outside the downtown Nordstrom store Dec. 10 encouraging shoppers to buy American-made, union-made products. Union activists coordinated the action in observance of Human Rights Day.

“Workers’ rights are human rights,” the AFL-CIO declares every Dec. 10.  Human Rights Day commemorates the 1948 adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And workers’ rights are among those, such as Article 23, which guarantees to the people of the world the right to work, protection against unemployment, equal pay for equal work, and the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests; and Article 24, which declares that everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

In Portland, about 50 local labor union activists observed Human Rights Day with a rally in Director Park, after which teams of leafleters took the message to nearby mall shoppers.

“Your mall purchase supports corporations who continue to pay low wages, manufacture overseas, and reap the benefits through growing profits for shareholders and top executives,” said the flier, urging recipients instead to shop made-in-America, shop union-made and buy local.

The event was sponsored by Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon AFSCME, Occupy Portland, CAUSA, and Portland Jobs with Justice.

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