RESOLUTION: International Solidarity
Corporate globalization makes international labor solidarity even more of a necessity. Downsizing and outsourcing in the private sector, privatization, deregulation, budget cuts in the public sector, and “free trade” agreements are all part of the neoliberal corporate agenda. Financed by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, and backed by armed forces and private militias, it has no concern for labor, public services, or the environment.
The capitalist crisis which began in the U.S. continues to wreak havoc around the world as jobs and benefits are slashed and unemployment increases. We face an environmental crisis of monumental proportions due to climate change, with major impacts already being experienced in terms of extreme weather, especially for low-lying populations, and the availability and cost of food. Meanwhile, oil and gas are at the heart of continuing military and civil conflicts and the safety of nuclear power must be questioned due to the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.
The fate of our planet demands that we place the well-being of the majority of the world’s people ahead of profits for the few. The Arab Spring, strikes and demonstrations throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and new social movements provide testimony that poor and working people are demanding change. Coalitions of unions, students, environmentalists, community organizations, amnesty groups, and many others have emerged to challenge military aggression and the power and agenda of global capital.
War makers continue to create strife all over the Middle East and North Africa in their efforts for complete control of oil and all of the world’s resources, and find new areas of profit. The White House’s June 13th announcement that it would begin directly supplying arms to the opposition in Syria is a dramatic escalation of the U.S./NATO war against that country. Thousands of U.S. troops and intelligence personnel are training opposition forces and coordinating operations in Turkey and Jordan. Israel, the recipient of more than $3 billion annually in U.S. military aid has carried out heavy bombing raids against Syria. The Pentagon has developed plans for a “no-fly” zone over Syria, threatening a new U.S. air war. Their aim is to carry out “regime change,” as part of the drive to create a “new Middle East.”
After over 50 years of undermining sovereign governments in Iraq, and fostering racism and religious sectarianism, the US now finds itself entering the war there again. President Barack Obama’s announcement on June 19 that he was sending 300 U.S. Army Special Forces into Iraq shows the continued danger to the entire region. Obama promised there would be no U.S. boots on the ground — ignoring the 1,500 troops already there. He said he was just sending “advisors,” plus additional troops to guard the largest U.S. embassy in the world.
Beginning July 7, Israeli planes and rockets killed 49 people and wounded another 450 in hundreds of strikes, according to Palestinian medical authorities on the morning of July 9. There is no sign that the Israeli regime intends to slow down this relentless assault on the civilian population of Gaza. On the contrary, elements in Israeli government circles are calling for a full re-occupation of Gaza.
In Venezuela, the US government wants a return to policies which brought the benefits of that nation’s oil wealth to a privileged few. The Bolivarian Revolution has been supported by a majority of Venezuelans in election after election. Yet the US persists in violating the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people. The US has continued to intervene in Venezuela.
The U.S. government cuts basic services and has eliminated hundreds of thousands of public sector workers jobs in the last three years in the name of a discredited budget cuts which has destroyed the US economy, but has unlimited billions available for wars of aggression and NSA surveillance of almost every US resident.
We continue to work closely with labor unions, global union federations, social movements, and other progressive organizations. Our international work is guided by a commitment to action. We are convinced that another world is possible and we are committed to building it.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS 8th Bi-Annual UE local 150 CONVENTION:
- Commits to continuing to build relations with unions abroad, especially those in our industries, through direct contact, progressive forums and networks, and other means, as well as establishing and deepening relationships with workers in sister shops who globally share our employers, including workers in China;
- Commits to continuing support and participation in the World and U.S. Social Forums;
- Opposes the Trans-Pacific partnership, Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) and attempts to extend Trade Promotion Authority (fast track) and stands with hundreds of other organizations in demanding that Congress replace Fast Track with a more democratic trade negotiating and approval process.
- Condemns the murder of trade unionists in Colombia and the violence and extraordinary legal harassment undertaken to bust unions in the Philippines;
- Encourages locals and members to deepen their involvement in our international program. Encourages locals, members, and our allies to make contributions and voluntary payroll checkoff for the UE-FAT Solidarity Fund and UE Research & Education Fund;
- Continues to build international solidarity for the Southern International Worker Justice Campaign to repeal the ban on public sector Collective Bargaining Rights.
- Demands that Congress and the President respect the Cuban people’s right of self-determination and normalize relations with the Cuban government, end the blockade and Free the Cuban 5 from US prisons.
- Declare our solidarity and support for the people in Venezuela and their Bolivarian Revolution and new President Nicolas Maduro;
- Join the anti-war movement demands to: Stop the U.S./NATO/Israeli war and forms of intervention against Syria, Iraq, and Palestine! Self-determination for the Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi people! Fund people’s needs, not the military! U.S. Out of the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America!
- We join and support efforts to boycott, divest and for sanctions against Israeli-owned companies that contribute to oppression of the Palestinian people, such as G4S, which operates security services in Durham County libraries, and Veolia Corp. which operates city buses under CATS in Raleigh and is known for union-busting across the US.
Submitted by Charlie Daniels, Raleigh DOT, Downtown/DOA chapter