On April 3, Dane County voters will be asked, “Should all Wisconsin workers have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining?” The Board of Directors of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin (ICWJ) endorses this referendum.
ICWJ is a coalition of individuals, congregations and organizations concerned about worker justice as a moral issue. Since 1999, the group has advocated for the rights of workers to join unions and bargain collectively. According to ICWJ Director Rabbi Renee Bauer, “we have a responsibility, as moral leaders, to rise above partisan politics and speak for what is just.”
“Collective bargaining is a basic human right that ensures people’s human dignity is respected in the workplace,” said Rabbi Bauer. “All major religious traditions instruct us to treat workers justly. Most major faith groups have taken positions supporting the right of workers to join unions and bargain collectively.”
Information regarding faith and the rights of workers can be found at ICWJ’s website, www.workerjustice.org.
The referendum was submitted by Supervisor Dianne Hesselbein and passed by the Dane County Board in November 2011. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said “Collective bargaining has been essential to the prosperity of Wisconsin families for decades. Our workers care for the sick and the dying, keep our communities safe, and help our children succeed. They deserve a seat at the table once more, and Dane County residents deserve to have their voices heard on this important issue.”