No "Free" Speech at Work

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Thu Mar 16 09:59:35 PST 2000

>>> Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at> 03/15/00 09:58PM >>>

Are you sure that the USA has more protection of "free speech" -- including "free speech" for workers at work -- than other countries do? Especially when it comes to "free speech" and other civil liberties at workplaces, American workers may suffer from *more obstacles* against their freedoms than their Euro counterparts. After all, it is not laws per se that protect workers' freedoms; it is the power of organized workers that ultimately decides how much freedom we may enjoy.

***** "Every time I passed through those plant gates to go to work, I left America, and my rights as a free man. I spent nine hours in there, in prison, and then came out into my country again."

The Constitution does not apply to the workplace. In the 18th Century, when the Bill of Rights was adopted, only the government was seen as a major threat to individual rights. Today, many if not most Americans are more vulnerable to violations of their rights by employers than early Americans were by the government. Private sector employees that are not unionized can be fired for any reason, without due process. They can be compelled to submit to urine drug tests on pain of losing their job. They can be punished for their political views. They can be subjected to secret computer, video and telephone monitoring. <> *****


CB: We need a Bill of Workers' Rights, including a Bill of Civil Liberties on Private Giant Corporations that are more powerful than governments today. The original Bill of Rights was a check on the government as a large institition intrusive into the lives of individuals. In the spirit of that original American liberty, today's daughters and sons of liberty must take up the tyranny of the workplace that Yoshie addresses above. Repression by the boss is just as effective as repression by the state in destroying democracy and freedom for most Americans.

For Economic Democracy ! Down with the Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie !


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