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miércoles, julio 20, 2005

Urgent letter to U.S. union members

The following letter from Fred Hirsch asks U.S. trade unionists to contact their union leaders and urge them to support the "Unity and Trust" resolution at the AFL-CIO convention next week. Please read!

If you're not a union member, the Latin America Solidarity Coalition has a petition you can sign.

Dear Sisters, Brothers, Friends,

If you are a member of a union please pay special attention to this letter. If you are not, please bring it to the attention of union members you know immediately.

From July 24-28th the AFL-CIO will be holding its national convention in Chicago. Much attention has be focused on the leadership question and differences between groups of unions. This letter is NOT about that.

Also before the convention will be a resolution titled 'Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide,' dealing with AFL-CIO activities in the field of foreign [affairs]. This resolution was passed unanimously by the California Labor Federation which represents 2.4 million workers (1/6 of the AFL-CIO). It would radically alter AFL-CIO ties to government policy. 'Build Unity and Trust' calls upon the AFL-CIO to accept money from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or other government agencies ONLY with "extreme caution" and "ONLY to pursue the goals of honest international labor solidarity...and renounce any tie that would make us paid agents of the United States Government or the forces of corporate economic globalization."

We are told that the Build Unity & Trust Resolution has been endorsed by various Central Labor Councils, including; Rochester, NY, Tucson, AZ, Denver,CO, Seattle,WA, San Jose,CA, Monterey-Santa Cruz,CA, and San Francisco,CA.

Because of growing support against the NED and NED funding, several southern state federation executive boards have submitted a self serving resolution written by the AFL-CIO¹s 'Solidarity Center' which gets most of its money from the NED and other government agencies. Their resolution avoids any mention of 'Solidarity Center' funding by the NED and the Bush administration.

With more than one resolution submitted on the same general topic, the Convention Resolutions Committee will most likely draft a "composite" resolution and present it to the Convention. Debate will then be on their recommendation.

Attached to this letter are the members of the Resolution Committee and their union affiliation. If you are a member of any of their unions or central labor councils or know anyone who is, we URGE you to communicate with them, in a respectful way, your views on the Build Unity & Trust Resolution.

In other words, we are asking you to do what you, and anyone else you may know, can do right now. . . It is urgent that letters be sent or faxed immediately as some members of the Resolutions Committee are already on their way to Chicago.




Dear _________,

As a member of __________________ I¹m writing to you today to ask you, as our representative on the Resolutions Committee at the AFL-CIO Convention, to support the 'Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide' resolution.

The resolution, which was passed by the 2.4 million member California Labor Federation, cites some very questionable AFL-CIO work abroad, recently in Venezuela, financed through the government funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It calls into question the "dubious" history of the NED for "assisting in overthrowing democratically elected governments and interfering in the internal affairs of the labor movements of other countries." The resolution calls for "extreme caution in seeking or accepting" government funds "and to accept these funds only to further the goals of honest international labor solidarity..." It calls upon the AFL-CIO to "renounce any such tie that would make us paid agents of government or the forces of corporate economic globalization."

The resolution asks for transparency in AFL-CIO activities abroad. The same kind of transparency demanded in the finances of our own unions. "Build Unity and Trust" would allow the AFL-CIO to continue genuine solidarity work. It urges the Federation to turn, not to funding sources such as the Bush administration, but to its affiliates and members. Real solidarity has to be independently offered our unions. We cannot continue to pass through Bush administration resources dubiously labeled as 'solidarity.'

Thank you for giving 'Build Unity and Trust' your careful attention. I hope it will be benefited by your support and leadership on the Convention Resolutions committee and that you will help get it to the floor of the convention with a positive recommendation. Its passage will enable Federation foreign affairs activities that are newly independent of government ties and which can be trusted by workers and unions in other countries.

In Solidarity,

(Your name and the name of your local union)

Members of the Resolutions Committee: [these are the folks who need to get letters and faxes! --bugs]

Gerald McIntee, President, AFSCME - Chair

Linda Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President, Vice Chair

Leo Gerard, President, USWA, Secretary

Jim Andrews, President, No. Carolina State AFL-CIO

Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU/UFCW President

Baxter Atkinson, American Federation of School Administrators

Rick Bender, President, Washington State AFL-CIO

Clayola Brown, Unite

Jeff Crosby, President, No. Shore, MA CLC

Jeff Fiedler, Food & Allied Service Trades Dept.

John Flynn, President, Bricklayers

Fred Frost, President, So. Florida AFL-CIO

John Gage, President, AFGE

Mike Goodwin, President, OPEIU

Bob Haynes, President, MA State AFL-CIO

William Hite, General President, UA (Plumbers & Pipe Fitters)

Frank Hurt, President, Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco Workers

Cheryl Johnson, President, United American Nurses

Gloria Johnson, IUE/CWA

Leon Lynch, Vice President, USWA

Leslie Moody, Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

David Newby, President, WI State AFL-CIO

Terry O'Sullivan, President, Laborers Intl. Union

Clyde Rivers, President, CA School Employees Association (CSEA)

John Ryan, President, Cleveland CLC

John Wilhelm, President, Unite HERE

Bill Young, President, NALC

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