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Lack of Protection for Basic Rights in the Workplace Decried;
ACLU Reacts to Initial Report of U.S. Labor-Management Commission
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 1994
NEW YORK -- Following is a statement from Lewis M. Maltby, Director
of the ACLU's National Task Force on Civil Liberties In the Workplace.
"In releasing its initial fact-finding report on the state of
labor-management relations in the United States today, the Dunlop
Commission identified many penetrating and useful insights. We look
forward to its final report containing specific recommendations.
"There is one dimension to this critical issue, however, that has not
received adequate attention -- the lack of protection for basic rights in
the American workplace. Unlike other advanced industrial nations, the
United States does not provide meaningful protection for freedom of
speech, privacy, due process and other fundamental rights while a person
is at work.
"While the U. s. Constitution and Bill of Rights are models for the
world, the rights they provide protect us only against abuses by the
government. They do not apply to private corporations. You check your
constitutional rights at the door when you go to work.
"The Dunlop Commission has correctly said that a lack of trust and
cooperation lie at the heart of America's problems with international
competitiveness and economic performance. The root of the antagonistic
atmosphere in our workplaces is that employees essentially have no rights.
"People do not lend their hearts and minds to the job when they have
"If we are to achieve the high-performance economy that both
employees and companies desire, it is imperative that we extend protection
for basic human rights into the working lives of all Americans. We call
upon the Dunlop Commission to incorporate this simple truth into its final
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