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Flexible Workshop Handouts

(6 pages doubled sided)

1. TitleWith Eleanor Roosevelts Union Card The union card is an effective handout. It can be printed separately on heavy stock and used handout with quotes on the back or as a postcard. 2. Workshop Agenda 3. Eleanor Roosevelt: Union Leader 4. Resources: Eleanor Roosevelt and Berger Marks Reports 5. The Union Advantage Fact SheetUpdate if possible 6. Mentors and Friends: Photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt and Rose Schneiderman 7. My Day Column, March 13, 1941 8. Current Opinion Piece, May 3, 2011 9. Human Rights and Workers Rights in Multiple Languages 10. Lessons Learned from Eleanor Roosevelt 11. Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes (2 pages)

1. TitleWith Eleanor Roosevelt Union Card

WHY WOMEN SHOULD JOIN UNIONS


ORGANIZING AND LEADING WITH ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Eleanor Roosevelts Union Card, 1936-1962

Facilitators: Organization: Date:

Using our past to change our future!

2. Workshop Agenda

WHY WOMEN SHOULD JOIN UNIONS WORKSHOP AGENDA


1. INTRODUCTION Instructors &Participants Goals & Strategies WHY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT Brief Background Why Should Women Join Unions? STRATEGIES Mentors Coalitions New Leaders Womens Priorities Communication OUTREACH A Human Rights Example CLOSE TO HOME Small Group Discussion Report Back CONCLUSION

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3. Eleanor Roosevelt: Union Leader

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: UNION LEADER


I have always felt that it was important that everyone who was a worker join a labor organization. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke these words to striking women workers in 1941, as First Lady of the United States. She supported the fight for workers rights and encouraged womens leadership in many ways. As a teacher, columnist, author, advocate, political activist, and member of The Newspaper Guild, AFL-CIO, for over 25 years, Eleanor Roosevelt led by example: As a member of the Womens Trade Union League, encouraging women to join unions and working in their educational programs in the 1920s. As First Lady, supporting womens leadership in government, their right to work, with equal pay and opportunities, and opposing all discrimination in employment, education and housing. As a leader in the Democratic Party, challenging women to use their citizenship rights to organize, campaign, vote, and govern. As a delegate to the United Nations guiding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to adoption including the right to equal pay for equal work. As chair of the first Presidents Commission on the Status of Women working closely with union women. As wife and mother, sister, daughter-in-law, grandmother, and friend struggling with the competing demands of family, friendship, and work in her public and private life. Eleanor Roosevelt worked hard and overcame fears. She took voice lessons to improve her public speaking and she did not let repeated threats on her life deter her active schedule. She advised others that You must do the thing you think you cannot do. There was no union convention too large or local union meeting too small for her attention. What she did on a national and international level, she believed everyone could and should do on a local level for: Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? she asked. In small places close to homeunless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.

4. Resources

RESOURCES ELEANOR ROOSEVELT


She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker, Brigid OFarrell, Cornell University Press, 2010. To tailor this guide for different audiences you can find additional quotes, photographs, and documents in the book and on the website: www.bofarrell.net. Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, more material, books, quotes, and all of the My Day columns are found at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, George Washington University: www.gwu.edu/~erpapers. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in over 300 languages): www.un.org

Labor Articles by Brigid OFarrell The Right To Join A Union: From Eleanor Roosevelt to John Kasich, The Review, East Liverpool, Ohio, and
American Rights at Work: www.americanrightsatwork.org, April 6, 2011. We Are One Solidarity Rally: Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt, www.bofarrell.net/teachingtools , April 4, 2011. From The Triangle Fire to Wisconsin, Rights for Women Workers, Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com, March 22, 2011. What do Natalie Portman, Aaron Rodgers, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Wisconsin Workers have in common? Roosevelt Institute Blog, www.rooseveltinstitute.org, February 21, 2011. Eleanor Roosevelt, Workers Rights, Human Rights, Journal of Workplace Rights, October 2010.

Organizing and Leadership*


Stepping Up, Stepping Back, Women Activists Talk Union Across Generations, The Berger-Marks Foundation, 2010. New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers: Social Media & Work Family Issues, Deborah King, Cornell University ILR Program, and Katie Quan, et.al., UC Berkeley Center, 2010. Is There A Womens Way to Organize? Pam Whitefield, Sally Alvarez, and Yasin Emrani, Cornell University ILR School, New York City, 2009. I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Womens Activism and Leadership in Unions. Amy Caiazza, Institute for Womens Policy Research, Washington, DC, 2007. A Discussion Guide, Based on I Knew I Could Do This Work. Michelle Kaminski, Michigan State University Labor Education Program, 2008. *Available through The Berger-Marks Foundation: www.bergermarks.org

5. Union Advantage THE UNION DIFFERENCE UNION ADVANTAGE BY THE NUMBERS Union workers earn higher wags and more benefits than workers who dont have a voice on the job. ______________________________________________________________________________ Union Workers median weekly earnings $833 Nonunion workers median weekly earnings $642 Union wage advantage 30% ______________________________________________________________________________ Union womens median weekly earnings $758 Nonunion womens median weekly earnings $579 Union wage advantage for women 31% ______________________________________________________________________________ African American union workers median weekly earnings $707 African American nonunion workers median weekly earnings $520 Union wage advantage for African Americans 36% ______________________________________________________________________________ Latino union workers median weekly earnings $686 Latino nonunion workers median weekly earnings $469 Union advantage for Latinos 46% ______________________________________________________________________________ Asian American union workers median weekly earnings $843 Asian American nonunion workers median weekly earnings $774 Union advantage for Asian Americans 8% ______________________________________________________________________________ Union workers with employer-provided health insurance 80% Nonunion workers with employer-provided health insurance 49% Union health insurance advantage 63% ______________________________________________________________________________ Union workers without health insurance coverage 2.5% Non union workers without health insurance coverage 15% Nonunion workers are five times more likely to lack health insurance coverage ______________________________________________________________________________ Union workers with guaranteed (defined-benefit) pensions 68% Nonunion workers with guaranteed (defined-benefit) pensions 14% Union pension advantage 386% ______________________________________________________________________________ Union workers with short-term disability benefits 62% Nonunion workers with short-term disability benefits 35% Union short-term disability benefits advantage 77% ______________________________________________________________________________ Union workers average days of paid vacation 15 days Nonunion workers average days of paid vacation 11.75 days Union paid vacation advantage 28% ______________________________________________________________________________
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Union Members in 2006, Jan.25, 2007; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, March 2006, August 2006; Economic Policy Institute; Employee Benefits Research Institute, May 2005.

6. Mentors and Friends

MENTORS AND FRIENDS

7. My Day

8. Current Opinion Piece

The Right To Join A Union: From Eleanor Roosevelt to John Kasich


When my phone rang in Moss Beach, California, I was surprised to find a young girl calling from a small town in Ohio, not far from Columbus. She and her friends in eighth grade were writing a play about Eleanor Roosevelt for a school project. She saw my book on the internet, She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker. They wanted their drama to address the workers in Ohio and Wisconsin. Eleanor Roosevelt went into a coal mine, didnt she? the girl asked. Do you think she would be supporting the workers today? Now is a good time to share my answer because workers are gathering in solidarity rallies across the country calling for respect, dignity, and a voice at work. Would Eleanor Roosevelt be supporting the union rights of teachers and nurses, fire fighters and police? The short answer is an empathetic yes. One of the most admired women in the world, Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of the Newspaper Guild for over 25 years and a staunch advocate for unions, which she came to view as a fundamental element of democracy. She believed that everyone had a basic right to a voice at work. She argued for union rights in the public sector, while also campaigning to defeat state right-to-work laws. But this call had a very personal touch for me. I was born and raised in East Liverpool, along the Ohio River. First the potteries left the valley and then the steelmills shut down. Good union jobs disappeared. The city struggles to survive and now the workers who provide vital services to the citizens and keep the town running are threatened with the loss of a basic human right in the name of yet another crisis they didnt create. Gov. John Kasich not only proposes to end collective bargaining for public workers, he has shown his disdain for the workers Eleanor Roosevelt so admired by publicly calling the policemen idiots. My brother was an Ohio State Highway Patrolman. His son is a policeman near Cleveland; not far from where his dad and I grew up. They deserve better. The men and women who protect our lives, teach our children, care for the sick, plow the snow, and keep the cities running deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. All unions and employers, public and private, need to maintain high standards of responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Taking away the rights of unions, however, is not the answer to the current fiscal problems. As Eleanor Roosevelt argued, we need a system where All interests shall be equally considered and concession shall never be expected from one side only. This is not about the money. As President Obama clearly stated, this is an assault on unions. Eleanor Roosevelts belief in labor unions as a critical part of our democratic process began when she was a young debutante volunteering in the tenements on the lower east side of Manhattan, where she first learned about sweatshops. She walked her first picket line in 1926 to support a box makers strike in New York. As First Lady, she refused to cross a picket line and proudly joined a union in 1936 at the height of the sit down strikes in Michigan, when workers were being attacked and fighting back. She told striking workers in 1941 that she felt it was important that everyone who was a worker join a labor organization. In 1945, after FDRs death, she took her belief in democracy at work to the United Nations and the task of framing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under her guidance, working closely with union leaders, Article 23 declared that everyone, without discrimination, has the right to a decent job, fair working conditions, a living wage, equal pay for equal work, and the right to join a union.

Eleanor Roosevelt gave careful consideration to her positions. President Roosevelt was concerned about public employee unions, although not anti-union as some have suggested. His wife struggled with the issue in her newspaper column after his death, My Day. In the 1950s, she finally concluded that unionization was necessary because employers in the public sector were little different from those in the private sector, refusing to listen to workers and treat them fairly. You cannot just refuse to meet with people, she wrote, when they want to talk about their basic human rights. For teachers, police, and fire fighters she said that there was no method of complaint and adjustment that could take the place of collective bargaining with the ultimate possibility of a strike. She told her readers that the striking teachers in 1962 had no other recourse but to strike to draw attention to the legitimate complaints. In 1958, as co-chair of a national council established to defeat right-to-work laws in six states, she called on right-thinking citizens, from all walks of life to challenge the predatory and misleading campaigns. When human rights were invoked she called the argument a calculated and cunning smoke screen to beguile the innocent and unknowing. She took greatest offense when the California ballot language suggested that FDR would support right-to-work laws, responding The American public understands very well that Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never have supported such a reactionary doctrine. When asked Where, after all, do human rights begin? Eleanor Roosevelt answered In small places close to home the neighborhoodthe schoolthe factory, farm or officeunless they have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Her voice resonates today in support of workers in Ohio and across the country. Their voices were heard on April 4th. Workers rights are human rights. Brigid OFarrell is an independent scholar living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker, Cornell University Press.

9. Human Rights

10. Lessons Learned

LESSONS LEARNED FROM ELEANOR ROOSEVELT


Lesson # 1 Lesson #2 Lesson #3 Lesson #4 Lesson #5 Lesson #6 Lesson #7 Lesson #8 Lesson #9 Lesson #10 Lesson #11 Lesson #12 Acknowledge your mentors Be a mentor to younger workers Build coalitions across gender, race, age, class, issues Help new workers find leadership opportunities Build on the experience and skill women bring from home Recognize your own and others complimentary leadership skills Listen, observe, ask questions, take surveys, be open to new ideas Embrace new technology Speak out and dont fear criticism Take risks and be creative Understand the world situation Practice what you preach-close to home

11. ER Quotes

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT QUOTES


On Joining Unions In a speech to striking IBEW workers Eleanor Roosevelt said I have always thought that it was important that everyone who was a worker join a labor organization. American Federationist, March 1941 As the country prepared for war she defended unions, writing I do believe the right to explain the principles lying back of labor unions should be safeguarded, that every workman should be free to listen to the pleas of organization without fear of hindrance or of evil circumstances. My Day, March 13, 1941 Preparing for peace, she argued for full employment at home and economic aid abroad, challenging employers who think this is the time to break the power of labor through destroying their unionsWe need a big national income with money kept in circulation [through wages] if we are not to go through another depression. My Day, September 19, 1945 A peace economy was not easy and she argued for a system where All interests shall be equally considered and concessions shall never be expected from one side only. My Day, September 27, 1945 On Public Sector Unions When public hospital managers refused to meet with workers she wrote Employees who are quite evidently not receiving a living wage and are dissatisfied with their conditions of work would simply be slaves if they were obliged to work on without being able to reach their employers with their complaints and demand negotiation You cannot just refuse to meet with people when they want to talk about their basic human rights. My Day, May 13, 1959 When workers at the city and non-profit hospitals organized she concluded that The same reason that compelled us to put so much strength into union leaders hands where industry was concerned is going to compel us to do the same thing where hospital boards are concerned. My Day, June 3, 1959 For teachers, police, and fire fighters there was no method of complaint and adjustment that could take the place of collective bargaining with the ultimate possibility of a strike. Under the present set-up teachers have no other recourse but to strike to draw attention to the legitimate complaints. My Day, April, 13, 16, 1962 On Right-to-Work Laws As the fight for state right-to-work laws developed she wrote that To protect collective bargaining and the interests of the workers are, in my view, the right thing to do and when state laws oppose this, I think the state laws are wrong. My Day, December 17, 1954 As co-chair of the National Council of Peace, established to defeat right-to work laws in six states, she declared it was time for all right-thinking citizens, from all walks of life, to join in protecting the nations economy and the working mans union security from the predatory and misleading campaigns now being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. NCIP Press Release, July 9, 1958

When human rights were invoked she took offense saying that the proposal to extend right-to-work laws does not concern itself one iota with human rights or the right to workbut is a calculated and cunning smoke screen to beguile the innocent and unknowing. New York Times, October 6, 1958. When California ballot language suggested FDR would support right-to-work laws, Eleanor Roosevelt responded The American public understands very well that Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never have supported such a reactionary doctrine. AFL-CIO News Service, September 18, 1958 On Women Only where they are organized do women get equal pay for equal work. 1933 I have a firm belief in the ability and power of women to achieve the things they want to achieve. 1941 Remember that girls as well as boys can be fitted for defense work. They, too, must have training in order to earn their livings and live better than they have done in the past. I hope, therefore, that we shall not forget our obligation to girls in any of the government programs. 1941 As each future conference of the nations meets, women should be among the delegates, no matter what the subject under discussion. 1944 Maids should enter a union and make their household work a profession. 1944 In numbers there is strengthen, and we in America must help the women of the world. 1946 The dignity of womens equality when they meet in government, professional and industrial work is important the world over, not just in the U.S. 1962 Personal You can never be made to feel inferior without your consent. 1940 We dont get things unless we plan for them, unless we organize for them and work for them. 1943 You must do the thing you think you cannot do. 1960 Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. 1960 Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says It cant be done. 1960 In Summary When asked where human rights begin, Eleanor Roosevelt answered, In small places close to homethe neighborhoodthe schoolthe factory, farm and officeUnless they have meaning there they will have little meaning any where. Remarks at the United Nations, March 27, 1953 In her closing statement to the CIO she told the delegates, We cant just talk. We have got to act. CIO Convention Proceedings, 1955.