Labor Union Support

Effort led by UU Democratic Socialists and helped by UUJEC Board Member Rev. Robert Murphy

Status: Did not pass

Organized labor and organized religion are developing new alliances. The Poor Peoples and Low-income Workers Assembly and Moral March has taken place (June 18) in Washington DC, as a major action in support of economic and social justice. Starbucks workers, Amazon workers, Mc Donalds workers, health care workers, and others, are organizing labor unions. The President of our Unitarian Universalist Association has expressed support (April 28) for the labor resurgence happening in workplaces across the country.

Our economic justice concerns are grounded in Unitarian Universalism and they are expressed in our Association’s statement of principles and purposes. We are especially concerned about Black, Indigenous and other people of color, Immigrant workers, low wage workers, LGBTQ+ workers, workers with disabilities, and others, who have long been abused.

The General Assembly calls upon Unitarian Universalists congregations to do the following.

First: Act in solidarity with workers who are organizing democratic labor unions. When requested, the Unitarian Universalists can help democratic union organizing by supporting consumer boycotts, by respecting picket lines, by writing letters of support for union organizing, by community education programs, and by assisting the mutual aid programs that help workers and their families during strikes.

Second: Work with the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, Unitarian Universalist Class Conversations, and other organizations, to educate congregations and communities about the need for economic justice, worker empowerment, and class awareness and inclusion. Review the history of Universalists and Unitarian involvement with economic justice and liberation movements. Discuss our Unitarian Universalists principles when organizing for economic justice.

Third: Designate the Sunday preceding Labor Day as “Labor in the Pulpit Sunday”. Working people can be asked to speak about their workplace experiences and the need for justice. Include young workers and older workers who are congregation members. The Unitarian Universalists Association has prepared materials that can be used when developing annual “Labor in the Pulpit” celebrations.

In preparing for the 2023 General Assembly in Pittsburgh, the 2022 General Assembly asks for programs that will educate delegates about labor union organizing and mutual aid work. Organized religion and organized labor must work together in the 21st century.