Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively and/or Living Wage Statements

American Baptist Churches, USA

"We reaffirm our position that workers have the right to organize by a free and democratic vote of the workers involved. This right of organization carries the responsibility of union leadership to protect the rights of workers, to guarantee each member an equal voice in the operation of its organization, and to produce just output labors for income received." More at: (American Baptist Churches Resolution on Labor, 1981)

Church of the Brethren

Laborers are always to be regarded as persons and never as a commodity. Industry was made for man, and not man for industry. Employees as well as employers have the right to organize themselves into a union for wage negotiations and collective bargaining. (Brethren Service Commission, Church of the Brethren)

Resolves to … “Recognizing that the provision of wages and other benefits sufficient to support individuals and families in dignity is a basic necessity to prevent the exploitation of workers, and that the dignity of workers also requires adequate health care, security for old age or against disability, unemployment compensation, healthful working conditions, weekly rest, periodic holidays for recreation and leisure, and reasonable security against arbitrary dismissal.”

Resolves to …“Work for changes in the social, economic, and political structures that deny workers their rights and seek to maintain conditions that lead to deprivation and degradation of human life. Support legislation that provides for a regular review and establishes a minimum wage that is just and equitable in relation to compensations paid in other sectors of the economy.” More at: (Church of the Brethren, Resolution for a Just Minimum Wage, March 1988)

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME)

"Free collective bargaining has proved its values in our free society whenever the parties engaged in collective bargaining have acted in good faith to reach equitable and moral solutions of problems dealing with wages and working conditions. We do not support the opinion voiced in some quarrels that strikes should be made illegal. To declare strikes illegal would be to deprive workers of their right to collective action and, even more seriously, would place in the hands of government the power to force workers to remain on the job." More at: (Discipline of the CME Church Social Creed, 1982)

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

"We believe in the right of laboring men to organize for protection against unjust conditions and to secure a more adequate share of the fruits of their toil. The right to organize implies the right to hold and wield power, which in turn implies responsibility for the manner in which this power is exercised." (Resolution on the Church and Labor, Disciples of Christ, 1938)

“The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) over the years has supported the right of all workers, including farm workers, to organize the union of their choice for the purpose of collective bargaining with employers…” More at (Resolution concerning support of Farmworkers, 2007)

“For more than 20 years the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) gave active support to farm workers in their struggle for social justice by participating with the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM)…” More at: (Farm Workers, Social Justice, and the Church, 2001)

“The members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) support national movements toward the passage of legislation that guarantees workers sufficient wages to supply adequate food, clothing, shelter, and health care for themselves and their families.” More at: (Resolution concerning the living wage, 2005)

"...all members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are encouraged to support national, state and local legislation that provides means of protecting workers from wage theft and prosecuting wage thieves." (Resolution concerning wage theft, 2014)

The Episcopal Church

“Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church urge the Congress of the United States to pass, and the President to sign into law, labor law reform legislation designed to better protect employees seeking to engage in collective bargaining, to simplify and streamline the procedures by which employees may choose to organize, and to assist employers and employees in reaching agreement.” More at: (76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 2009)

“The 75th General Convention reaffirms the right of workers in the United States to organize and form unions as a means to securing adequate wages, benefits, and safety conditions and encourage all levels of the church to be informed about, and act accordingly, when rights of workers to associate is being jeopardized…” More at: (75th General Convention, 2006)

"We reaffirm the right and desirability of workers in the United States to organize and form unions...we decry the growing wage of anti-unionism mounting in the nation to day which asks people to forget the struggles that led to this form of negotiation as a just way to settle differences. We urge church people and others not to judge this issue on the basis of a particular case but rather on the basis of the fundamental principles involved." (A pastoral message from the Urban Bishops Coalition of the Episcopal Church, Labor Day 1982)

That the 75th General Convention support actively the right of workers to form a union, and increase the support in our cities and states for passage of “living wage” legislation…That the Convention commit the Church at all levels to contract solely with union hotels in its meetings, or to obtain confirmation that local prevailing “living wages” are paid by all hotels the Church uses.” More at: (75th General Convention, 2006)

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)

"[The ELCA] commits itself to advocacy with corporations, businesses, congregations, and church-related institutions to protect the rights of workers, support the collective bargaining process, and protect the right to strike." (Resolution of the ELCA Church-wide Assembly, 1991)

“We believe it is God’s intent that all people are provided with those things that protect human dignity and make for healthy life: adequate food and shelter, meaningful work, safe communities, healthcare and education…a living wage assures social and economic benefits for the community as well as a supportive environment for employers who try to maintain fair wages.” More at: (ELCA Resolution, 2008)

Employers have a responsibility to treat employees with dignity and respect. This should be reflected in employees' remuneration, benefits, work conditions, job security, and ongoing job training.” More at: (Social Statement on Sufficient Sustainable Livelihood for All, 1999)

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

"Justice demands that social institutions guarantee all persons the opportunity to participate actively in economic decision-making that affects them. All workers—including undocumented, migrant, and farm workers—have the right to choose to organize for the purposes of collective bargaining." More at: (Principles of Vocation and Work, General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1995

“Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work. The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth. Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.” More at: Church USA, A Social Creed for the 21st Century, 2008)

“Urge United States government agencies and authorities to increase the minimum wage toward a living wage and enforce minimum wage laws, worker safety regulations, and rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively…" More at: (Resolution on Just Globalization, 2006)

United Church of Christ

"The 21st General Synod reaffirms the heritage of the United Church of Christ as an advocate for democratic, participatory, and inclusive economic policies in both public and private sectors, including...the responsibility of workers to organize for collective bargaining with employers regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions, and the responsibility of employers to respect not only worker rights but also workers' dignity, and to create and maintain a climate conducive to the workers' autonomous decision to organize;" More at: (Resolution Affirming Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy, (GS XXI, 1999)

“International workers’ rights must be recognized and honored in ways that protect their basic right to organize and collectively bargain, job portability…” More at: (Global Ministries statement regarding immigration issues)

United Methodist Church

"We support the right of public and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining into unions and the groups of their own choosing. Further, we support the right of both parties to protection in so doing, and their responsibility to bargain in good faith within the framework of the public interest." More at: (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Social Principles: The Economic Community)

“Every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs or all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs.” More at: (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Social Principles: The Economic Community)

“We call upon all members of the global United Methodist Church to work in partnership with persons, communities, and governments everywhere around the world to bring about the creation of conditions that encompass fundamental workers’ rights, fair wages, a safe and healthy workplace, reasonable hours of work, decent living standards, support for community infrastructure, and commitment to community economic development.” More at: (The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Living Wage Model)

The United Methodist Church demands that employers treat farm workers and their families with dignity and respect; and that corporate processors, food retailers, and restaurants take responsibility in proportion to the power they possess for the treatment of the farm workers in their supply chains; calls on the General Board of Church and Society, the General Board of Global Ministries, annual conferences, and local churches to support state and federal legislation that would strengthen the laws protecting farm workers’ rights and provide the funding necessary for adequate enforcement of laws protecting farm workers rights, health, and safety …” More at: (The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Rights of Farm Workers in the US)