28
Feb
2005

110 union groups form U.S. Labor Against the War

President John Sweeney and the General Executive Council of the AFL-CIO

Across the country, local, district, and national unions, labor councils, state labor federations and numerous other labor organizations representing millions of working people have adopted resolutions condemning the war in Iraq, and calling for an end to the occupation and return of all troops to their homes and families.

Among these are national unions like SEIU, AFSCME, CWA, APWU, NPMHU/LIUNA, and UE; allied organizations like the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Pride at Work and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; State Labor Federations in California, Maryland/DC, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin; and fifteen or more labor councils across the country.

110 of these organizations have banded together to form U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), a national organization committed to ending the war, returning the troops, restoring funding to social programs and government services, and changing the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

Union members and their family members are being killed, wounded, disabled and psychologically traumatized in a war that has already killed almost 1500 U.S. military personnel, wounded more than 10,500 others, a war in which more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died. This war is siphoning resources from our communities, starving or eliminating essential public services and social programs, eroding our democratic rights, and making our country even less secure.

It is time for labor to speak out! At this time of discussion about renewing our labor movement, how can we not discuss the most urgent issue facing American and its working families? We ask you to put the issue of the war on the agenda of the up-coming Executive Council meeting. And we urge the national leadership of the AFL-CIO to oppose this reckless, illegal and immoral war.

More specifically, we ask for action on the following proposals by the Executive Council and the quadrennial convention of the AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO should demand an immediate end to the US occupation of Iraq and return of U.S. troops to their homes and families, and the reordering of national priorities toward peace and meeting the human needs of our people; and

Through its community service programs, the AFL-CIO and its state and local affiliates should assist union members and their families who are called upon to serve in the armed forces and returning veterans by identifying and providing information about resources and services available to meet their needs, by advocating for their interests, and by protecting their jobs, seniority and benefits and those of unorganized workers in similar circumstances.

Sisters and brothers, this war is draining away precious resources essential to meet human needs of working and poor people. It is undermining our security by alienating the U.S. from the community of nations and by provoking the spread of terrorism. It is weakening rather than reinforcing the rule of international law. It has led to an erosion of our most basic rights and liberties. And it is doing terrible direct harm to many thousands of military families.

We, the American labor movement, should take a stand and speak out on the biggest issue facing working people and the country as a whole. We urge you to join us!


Informant: Bigraccoon
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