Joy Bivins
Joy Bivins
Chicago History Museum

Is unionization a civil right?

Union organizing has been a highly debated issue for some time, especially with conflicts over issues such as collective bargaining in states like Wisconsin. As workers, business owners, and government officials continue to argue the issue, there are those who think that forming a union should be a basic civil right protected by federal law or the Constitution. In other words, the same way that citizens have the right to peacefully assemble or petition the government, citizens should have the right to form a union.

Workers are protected against all kinds of discrimination (race, religion, country of origin) mainly by the 1964 Civil Rights Act but workers pushing for unionization don’t necessarily have the same protections. Expanding the civil rights law to include the right to unionize would provide new protections for workers who want to form unions in their industries. It’s an interesting idea but certainly not everyone agrees.

What do you think? Should civil rights laws be expanded to include the right to form a union? I look forward to reading your responses.

Discussion closed on May 16, 2012


Nikki B, 12th

April 18, 2012 - 11:07am

In my opinion I feel that the civil rights should be expanded to include the right to form a union. I feel this way because not all businesses give equal rights to everyone and if some workers feel they aren't being treated equally they should be allowed to form a peace and effective union. As long as the union is not harming any individuals then their is no reason it shouldn't be form to better everyone's opportunities.

victoria d, 12th

April 18, 2012 - 11:05am

victoria Davis

I think unionization is part of a civil right.. but my other side say its not... its to join or become in marriage or civil partnership.. so i think it some what similar to each other ..

Eshia R, 11th

April 18, 2012 - 10:59am

Unionization is not civil right because it has highly been debated but for some issue especially with the official conflicts.Also because its a certain idea but not everyone agrees.Some workers are business owners and also government official continue to argur about the isses that have been going on with the civil right not to be an unionization.Some unionization has child labor so they came up with federal laws or the Constitution .

 Prop 14 flyer, 1976.
Prop 14 flyer, 1976.

darrian b, 12th

April 18, 2012 - 10:53am

hwo do they keep gas in car what do they have to do ot get it also were do they go and how do they get their and started

Identification card (front), 1946
Identification card (front), 1946