Skip to comments.Communication Workers & Postal Workers Oppose War in Iraq [No Mail or Telephone Calls for Troops?]
Posted on 10/08/2004 2:00:19 AM PDT by Bronc1
No Mail or Telephone Calls for Troops? Communication Workers & Postal Workers Oppose War in Iraq
(Excerpt) Read more at laboreducator.org ...
LABOR AND THE WAR September 10, 2004
Three More Major Unions Oppose U.S. War and Occupation in Iraq
The growing antiwar movement within the AFL-CIO took another leap forward in the past two weeks when three major unions passed strong resolutions at their recent conventions, opposing the U.S. war in Iraq and calling for an end to the American occupation. They are Communications Workers of America (650,000 members), American Postal Workers Union (270,000) and Mail Handlers of the Laborers' International Union (50,000).
They join the Service Employees International Union (1,6 million) American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (1.2 million) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers (60,000), who have also denounced President Bush for his pre-emptive invasion of Iraq and declared they support our troops and want them to be brought home safely, NOW.
In addition, the anti-war movement within the AFL-CIO includes the huge California, Washington State and Maryland/DC federations, which together account for more than 3 million union members. In the past year, dozens of labor councils, regional labor bodies and local unions have taken similar action.
Also in the last few weeks, all of the AFL-CIO's allied organizations have condemned the war in Iraq and called for the immediate return home of U.S. soldiers. They include the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Coalition of Labor Union and Pride at Work.
The driving force in building and guiding the anti-war movement is U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW). Its Web site is www.uslaboragainst war.org.
The CWA resolution won the near-unanimous approval of the 1,400 convention delegates on Aug. 31, with more than 50 of them lined up to speak in favor of an amended version, a key paragraph which read: "CWA demands that the President abandon his failed policy (of preventive war) which has made our nation less not more secure, and support our troops and their families by bringing our troops home safely now, by providing adequate veterans' benefits and promoting domestic policies that prioritize the needs of working people who make up the bulk of the military."
After sharply criticizing President Bush for the invasion of Iraq and his post-war policies, delegates at the APWU convention on Aug. 23-27 approved a resolution that stated: "Resolved, the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO calls for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the implementation of a plan to turn over sovereignty to the people of Iraq as soon as possible, and the return of U.S. troops to their homes and families."
At the National Postal Mail Handlers convention, held Aug. 22-29 in Boston, an anti-war resolution was approved by the delegates, despite its rejection by the Resolutions Committee. A caucus of delegates worked out an amended version based on an article in The New York Times that swayed the delegates to favor the resolution.
What was unusual about the delegates is that more than 40% of them were veterans. The reason for the disproportionate number of union veterans is due in large part to the hiring preferences given to veterans and disabled soldiers by the U.S. Postal Service.
At one point, the names of hundreds of union members currently serving in Iraq were scrolled across the huge movie screen in use at the convention. The amended resolution reads:
"While the National Postal Mail Handlers Union offers its full support for the American troops currently serving in Iraq, the NPMHU also calls for a rapid end to the war and occupation of Iraq. The war and occupation were undertaken based on false claims of the anti-worker Bush administration and have resulted in the death of over 900 American troops and over 10,000 Iraqi civilians. The war and occupation have caused U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars which could be redirected to pay for badly needed social needs, such as jobs, education, housing, and health."
Since the conclusion of the three union conventions, the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq has passed the 1,000 mark and, as of today, stands at 1,005.
Our weekly "LaborTalk" and "Labor and the War" columns can be viewed at our Web site www.laboreducator.org. Union members who seek information about the AFL-CIO rank-and-file reform movement should visit www.rankandfileaflcio.org.
I saw that as well. US postal workers? Grrrrr
Vietnamization is in full gear.
Well this explains why mail to my sons APO address is not getting though in a timely manner.
That's a misleading title.
Anyone tampering with either mail or wire communication should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Also, wanna bet how many military ballots just don't happen to get where they're supposed to go in time for anything.
they know how to get around the tampering, they simply push it back until it is the last piece of mail to sort.
My youngest has been in Iraq since Aug. I mail out boxes twice a week to him and letters every other day. As of this past Monday he has received 2 boxes and 0 letters. His whole unit is complaining of the same thing. We thought it was was because they were new but apperently this is not the case.
That is outrageous. I wonder if the military has taken to using the sea lanes? How long is it taking to get from your son to you? Thank you son for me, will ya?
Let them try striking. I think there are enough people on our side who believe in the war who will cross their lines and fill in their positions. I know that I, for one would work a shift above and beyond my current job to do this. I cannot believe these monsters would betray their country like this and refuse our men and women the comfort of getting letters and calls from home. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Son prefers to use email to write us, which is fine. His unit is trying to find out what is happening with the mail, we ship priority mail so it should only take 2-3 days to get to the coast and another 5-7 days into Iraq. After reading this Im wondering if there isnt some other reason why they are not getting the mail.
For the first time in years, rank-and-file members are feeling good about their unions future. At long last, it seems possible to reverse the disastrous plunge in membership, from 23% of the nations workforce in 1980 to 13.9% today. True, union density in the private sector has fallen to 9.4%, its lowest point in nearly 65 years, but finally there are some signs that unions have started growing again.
So Why the Huge Defeats?
Most members probably dont realize that unions lost more than half of the NLRB representation elections held in fiscal years 1995-98 5,907 out of 11,131. In fact, unions havent won more than 51.2% of those elections in any single year since 1980.
During the same 1995-98 period, the figures for decertification elections, in which unions were thrown out by their own members, were even worse. Unions were defeated in 1,268 out of 1,834 such elections, resulting in a 31% win rate and the loss of 47,358 members.
Surely, these figures should have set off alarm bells, but AFL-CIO leaders havent even acknowledged them. Instead, they point out that organized labor gained 265,000 members in 1999 and claim that unions have finally turned the corner after decades of decline. But 65,000 of those 265,000 were new members of the National Education Assn., not affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Another 74,000 joined the Service Employees International Union after it won a statewide card-check victory for California home care and nursing home workers.
In their speeches and official publications, AFL-CIO leaders only talk about victories and never mention defeats.
I salute you and your son for the sacrifices you are making for us, even for those who don't deserve it.
Those declarations by those unions almost sound like a communist manifesto.
Okay! Lets see . . .
"an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq": DONE - 1 July 2004 (or was it June??)
"the implementation of a plan to turn over sovereignty to the people of Iraq as soon as possible": DONE - Final Phase started 1 July 2004, ends when the elections are held in January 2005.
"and the return of U.S. troops to their homes and families": Does this include the troops in Korean (50 years and counting), Germany (60 years and counting) and other places as well?
"CWA demands that the President abandon his failed policy (of preventive war) which has made our nation less not more secure, and support our troops and their families by bringing our troops home safely now, by providing adequate veterans' benefits and promoting domestic policies that prioritize the needs of working people who make up the bulk of the military."
Oh, boy . . .
Can the CWA provide some concrete evidence that the US is LESS secure due to the President's actions?
"and support our troops and their families by bringing our troops home safely now": See my comment above regarding Korea & Germany.
"by providing adequate veterans' benefits": I believe this is the responsibility of the CONGRESS.
"promoting domestic policies that prioritize the needs of working people who make up the bulk of the military.": are you refering to civilian contractors or military personnel? I would contend that ALL military personnel are "working people" and thier "needs" are not exactly the same as "domestic" civilian needs.
thanks I will pass it on.
ruth thanks for the links I will take a look at them later and will be writing several people.
Take heart. Unions say and do lots of things, unfortunately paid for with union dues. But when they vote, union workers don't do it en masse. Maybe in the past, and maybe in certain crafts...auto workers way back when, but not now. Ronald Reagan blew a big hole in that one.