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December 16, 2002

Labor Monday (12-16)

Labor Antiwar Statement Roundup:

  • When the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the largest public employees union with 1.4 million members, came out this week with a strong statement condemning a war with Iraq, this gave the rising labor opposition to war a major boost. See this article about the Labor Against War movement.
  • Here is the Oct 7th Letter from AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney to members of Congress raising concerns about Bush's rush to war.
  • Letter from Gene L Bruskin, head of the multi-union Food & Allied Service Trades Council, condemning use of the "war on terror" and Iraq to attack union gains.
  • Statement by the United Electrical (UE) workers against the war.
  • See selected statements by the California Labor Federation (pdf, p. 5), the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), New York State Nurses Association, SEIU Wisconsin, the Washington State Labor Federation. See full list here.

  • The holiday season is bringing fear to the long-term unemployed as benefits are scheduled to end with the end of the year due to Congress's failure to reauthorize funding.
  • An indepth story on the rank-and-file challenge to Bush's favorite labor leader, the Carpenter's Doug McCarron, and why he needs legal help from the Bush administration to suppress democracy within the Carpenters union.
  • 150 workers at the California-based Chinese Daily News, the largest Chinese language daily in the country, have been facing union-busting efforts for two years. See here for details on the campaign.

  • The United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their families, first adopted in 1990, has been ratified by the required twenty countries and now goes into effect.
  • 151 trade unionists have been killed in Columbia this year, continuing the rightwing paramilitary repression of union rights in that country.
  • A general strike of hundreds of thousands of workers in Portugal has protested government policies in that country.
  • An indepth analysis by COSATU, the South African labor federation, on its role in that country's democracy in fighting for social justice.

    Posted by Nathan at December 16, 2002 08:57 AM

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    Whoa... the civil service and electrician unions are against the war. This is about as relevant as a fish commenting on bicycle design. I can't wait till the UAW puts forth its position paper on nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula.

    But of course, they are voters, and voters have the right to make their voices heard. But are they condeming a war outright? Or just a unilateral war? Could we have a unilateral war if the U.S. public debated it some more? What's an "aggressive policy" - like the Korean Police Action? We had an agressive policy toward Japan in 1942.

    And "thorough debate" and "fully informed and supportive" are pretty ambiguous phrases. The only thing that seemed clear was the call for a lot of domestic spending.

    Posted by: Grant at December 16, 2002 11:36 AM

    Thanx for labor monday! Do you have a better link for the McCarron article? The one you posted doesn't work, and I can't seem to find the article at the tnr site.

    Posted by: Mark Rickling at December 16, 2002 12:49 PM

    I think the link is now fixed. You may need to register to get to the article.

    Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 16, 2002 12:59 PM

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