Union Anti-War Resolutions

Local 1180

Whereas, unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and all standards of international law; and

Whereas, such military action would bring death and suffering to tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, punishing them and not their dictator; and unilateral U.S. action would also increase instability in the region, become an excuse and a precedent for other nations to also take lawless aggressive actions, and increase the likelihood of future terrorist attacks throughout the world by fueling anti-U.S. sentiment; and

Whereas, there is no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or to Al Qaeda; and there is no evidence to prove that the Iraqi dictator either has or has the capacity to build "weapons of mass destruction;" indeed, to the contrary, weapons inspectors who were in Iraq in the 1990s think it is unlikely that Saddam could have redeveloped such capacity; and

Whereas, the war in Iraq would cost hundreds of billions of dollars (Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey estimated the cost at as much as $200 billion), a cost that will come at the direct expense of the working class; it would divert urgently needed funds from job creation, healthcare and education; and

Whereas, the sudden urgency to disarm Iraq represents a cynical election-year ploy to distract Americans from the Bush Administration's abysmal economic record and to help the Republican Party in the upcoming election; and

Whereas, the September 11 attacks and the "War on Terrorism" have become the guise under which Bush has carried out a rightwing, anti-union agenda that has nothing to do with combating terrorism; the "War on Terror" has been invoked to silence critics, stifle debate, curtail civil liberties, scapegoat and round up immigrants; it has further been used as an excuse for union busting, from the administration's intervention in the west coast dock workers' struggle to the efforts to de-unionize federal workers in the Department of Homeland Security; the "War on Terror" has perverted the very important task of actually reducing terrorist threats and turned it instead into a political weapon of repression and manipulation; and

Whereas, there is massive and growing opposition to war in Iraq; Congress was flooded with hundreds of thousands of calls and mail opposing the war during the recent debate on the war resolution; tens of thousands of people demonstrated against the war in at least 36 cities and towns on October 6, including 25,000 in Central Park, and 1.5 million in Italy; 100,000 people demonstrated against the war in Washington, DC, on October 26, while another 60,000-80,000 demonstrated in San Francisco, 10,000 in St. Paul, 8,000 in Seattle, thousands in Denver and Chicago, additional demonstrations in Maine and Vermont, and internationally, 10,000 in Berlin, with demonstrations in 70 other German towns as well, 4,000 in Amsterdam, 1,500 in Copenhagen, 1,000 in Stockholm, and additional demonstrations in Rome, London, Tokyo, San Juan and Mexico City; over 27,000 U.S. scholars have signed an anti-war letter; students have mobilized on college campuses; four U.S. generals have publicly opposed unilateral U.S. action in Iraq; and

Whereas, opposition to the war is also growing within the labor movement; AFL-CIO President John Sweeney recently wrote to Congress expressing concern that "the sudden urgency for a decision about war and peace, an urgency which did not exist a month ago, has as much to do with the political calendar as with the situation in Iraq. It is an apparent contradiction that there is no similar urgency to take action to address the economic crisis that is also inflicting immediate suffering on so many of our people" and calling for assurances that "war is the last option, not the first, used to resolve this conflict;" and more and more local unions and central labor bodies are speaking out each day as they consider it their duty to act on a matter that directly threatens their members and families;

Therefore be it resolved, that Local 1180 oppose the current drive for war, oppose unilateral U.S. military action in Iraq, and oppose the Bush doctrine of "preemptive strikes;" and

Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 oppose abuses of the legitimate need and effort to combat terrorism and condemn the invocation of the "War on Terror" to silence critics, curtail rights and bust unions; and

Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 support the growing anti-war movement and will publicize its opposition to war in Iraq; and

Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 send copies of this resolution to CWA President Morton Bahr, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes and New York City Central Labor Council President Brian McLaughlin and urge each of them to take a leadership role in explaining how this war harms American working families; and

Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 send copies of this resolution to Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and express dismay at their votes in favor of the war resolution in the face of massive opposition from their constituents.

Submitted for consideration October 30, 2002
Bill Henning, 2nd Vice President


New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199

The New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, Service Employees International Union has over 22,000 members in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our members spend their working lives giving care to the sick, the elderly and the disabled. We work in both the public and private sectors. We care about human life and we care about our country. We participate fully in our communities, in our state and local politics and government, in our religious institutions and in our union. As a union and as patriotic Americans, we are obligated to educate ourselves about current affairs that affect our members, our families and our patients. We are obliged to make our opinions known to our representatives. Through this resolution we are addressing an issue of overriding concern to us - the possibility of a war on Iraq initiated by our government.

After discussion and debate in our Executive Board we adopt the following positions concerning a possible war with Iraq:

1. We oppose any unilateral, pre-emptive war against Iraq initiated by the United States or any other nation. We urge our government to bring its case against Iraq to the United Nations (U.N.) and to abide by the decision of the United Nations.

2. Pre-emptive war should need a higher standard of support from the international community than does defensive war. If the United States or its close allies were under attack from Iraq, the support of the United Nations would not be required. Fortunately, this is not the case.

3. We encourage the President to continue to raise the issue of compliance by Iraq with the terms of the 1991 peace agreement. We think the United Nations should enforce its resolutions concerning inspection and disarmament, and it is appropriate for the United States to use all diplomatic and economic pressure to achieve this end. It is not appropriate for the United States to bypass the U.N. absent an immediate threat by Iraq against us or our allies or Iraq's neighbors.

4. In our modern world we must strengthen multi-national institutions such as the U.N. or else we risk a breakdown of international law. The U.S. must not be the nation that sets the precedent for unilateral, pre-emptive war.

5. The timing of this rush to war by President Bush is very troubling and suspicious. Our economy is in deep trouble; our social safety net is being weakened; our seniors need coverage for prescription drugs; our health care system is in crisis and we have an election on the horizon. Suddenly President Bush has changed the discussions into a referendum on whether or not the American people will support our military in a war. And he has done this in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that Iraq is more of an immediate danger to any other nation than it was six months or a year ago or even two years ago when President Bush was inaugurated.

6. The American people have endorsed and supported the attack on Al-Qaeda as a response to the murderous assault on our country on September 11, 2001. This national unity must not be squandered or misused to justify attacking Iraq. There is no credible evidence that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. We should not waste our worldwide support for the fight against terrorism by launching a pre-emptive attack against Iraq.

7. And, finally, we are mindful that wars kill people and destroy societies. The potential death toll in Iraq is staggering. Maybe it can be avoided but maybe it cannot. War will spend huge resources in people and money - resources that could be used for health care and schools and social services. Because of this a war should be the last resort. We are not convinced that all other options have been exhausted. We are not convinced that Iraq poses an immediate threat to our country, our allies or its neighbors and we are extremely suspicious of the timing of this rush to war.

We are circulating this resolution to all of our senators and representatives from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. We are also sending it to the Service Employees International Union and we are requesting our International Union to circulate it to our local unions.

Health Care Workers Union, SEIU Local 250

The Health Care Workers Union, SEIU Local 250 has 85,000 members in Northern California. Our members spend their working lives giving care to the sick, the elderly and the disabled. We work in both the public and private sectors. We care about human life and we care about our country. We participate fully in our communities, in our state and local politics and government, in our religious institutions and in our union. As a union and as patriotic Americans, we are obligated to educate ourselves about current affairs that affect our members, our families and our patients. We are obliged to make our opinions known to our representatives. Through this resolution we are addressing an issue of overriding concern to us - the possibility of the war on Iraq initiated by our government.

After discussion and debate by our Executive Board, we adopt the following positions concerning a possible war with Iraq:

1. We oppose any unilateral, preemptive war against Iraq initiated by the United States or any other nation. We urge our government to bring its case against Iraq to the United Nations (U.N.) and to abide by the decision of the United Nations.

2. Preemptive war should need a higher standard of support from the international community than does defensive war. If the United States or its close allies were under attack from Iraq, the support of the United Nations would not be required. Fortunately, this is not the case.

3. We encourage the President to continue to raise the issue of compliance by Iraq with the terms of the 1991 agreement. We think the United Nations should enforce its resolutions concerning inspection and disarmament, and it is appropriate for the United States to use diplomatic and economic pressure to achieve this end. It is not appropriate for the United States to bypass the U.N. absent an immediate threat by Iraq against us or our allies or Iraq's neighbors.

4. In our modern world we must strengthen multi-national institutions such as the U.N. or else we risk a breakdown of international law. The U.S. must not be the nation that sets the precedent for unilateral, preemptive war.

5. The timing of this rush to war by President Bush is very troubling and suspicious. Our economy is in trouble; our social safety net is being weakened; our seniors need coverage for prescription drugs; our health care system is in crisis and we have an election on the horizon. Suddenly President Bush has changed the discussions into a referendum on whether or not the American people will support our military in a war. And he has done this in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that Iraq is more of an immediate danger to any other nation that it was 6 months or a year ago or even two years ago when President Bush was inaugurated.

6. The American people support a response to Al-Queda in reaction to the horrific September 11 attacks. This support must not be misused to justify attacking Iraq. There is no credible evidence that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. A preemptive attack against Iraq will weaken appropriate, multi-lateral efforts to reduce terrorism.

7. And, finally, we are mindful that wars kill people and destroy societies. The potential death toll in Iraq is staggering. Furthermore, an attack on Iraq would cause an estimated 1.5 million Iraqi civilians to become refugees. War will spend huge resources in people and money - resources that could be used for health care, schools and social services. Experts estimate that an attack would use more than $100 billion of U.S. taxpayer monies. Because of these many reasons, a war should be the last resort. We are not convinced that all other options have been exhausted. We are not convinced that Iraq poses an immediate threat to our country, our allies or its neighbors and we are extremely suspicious of the timing of this rush to war.

We are circulating this resolution to all of our senators and representatives from California. We are also sending it to the Service Employees International Union and we are requesting our International Union to circulate it to our local unions.

New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)

Resolution on War and Violence as a Last Resort
Approved by the 2002 Voting Body


WHEREAS, the Code of Ethics for Nurses states that "nurses respect the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual," that "the nurse's primary commitment is to the patient whether as individual, family, group, or community," and that "the profession of nursing, as represented by professional associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values...and shaping social policy,"

WHEREAS, the toll that a protracted war takes on human life and the social and economic fabric of a society, particularly on a nation's most vulnerable population, is devastating and intolerable, even when referred to as "collateral damage,"

WHEREAS, no specific event has occurred in the recent period that indicates that Iraq poses any immediate threat to the United States,

WHEREAS, the American people have suffered deeply as a result of the September 11, 2001 tragedies and a preemptive military strike in Iraq would inflict comparable suffering, injury, and death upon countless innocent Iraqi people, and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the Code of Ethics, NYSNA has been in the forefront of speaking out about important health and social issues of our time, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that NYSNA support a multi-national diplomatic approach to ensuring Iraq's compliance with the current United Nations resolution regarding arms inspections, and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSNA affirm that war and violence must always be the last resort to responding to conflict, and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSNA educate its members about the effects of war on health and societies, and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSNA communicate to appropriate policy makers its concern about a unilateral preemptive strike as a means of resolving Iraqi non-compliance with United Nations inspections.

Teamsters Local 705

On Sunday, October 18, Teamsters Local 705, at it's general meeting, resolved to oppose Bush's drive for war against Iraq.

With over 300 members attending, the meeting overwhelmingly approved a resolution proposed by members of the Uprise! group, and supported by veterans, socialists, and the Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Zero.

Teamsters Local 705, based in Chicago IL, is the second largest Teamsters Local in the U.S, and among the largest locals of any union in the country. 705 was part of the historic 1997 UPS strike, and well known for assisting other area unions struggling for justice.

The resolution reads as follows:

"Resolution Against the War

-Whereas, we value the lives of our sons and daughters, of our brothers and sisters more than Bush's control of Middle East oil profits

-Whereas, we have no quarrel with the ordinary working-class men, women, and children of Iraq who will suffer the most in any war

-Whereas, the billions of dollars being spent to stage and execute this invasion, means billions taken away from our schools, hospitals, housing, and social security

-Whereas, Bush's drive for war serves as a cover and a distraction for the sinking economy, corporate corruption, lay-offs, Taft-Hartley (used against the lacked out ILWU longshoremen)

-Whereas, Teamsters Local 705 is known far and wide as fighters for justice

*Be it Resolved that Teamsters Local 705 stands firmly against Bush's drive for war

*Further Resolved that the Teamsters Local 705 Executive Board publicize this statement, and seek out other unions, labor and community activists interested in promoting anti-war activity in the labor movement and community."

We ask all those who support and are encouraged by this statement to contact Teamsters Local 705 to offer support: Teamsters Local 705
(312-738-2800 or www.teamsterslocal705.org).

Local 1199/SEIU

A Time for Justice, Not Vengeance: An Open Letter to the Labor Movement

The stunning events of September 11 struck especially close to home for those of us in the labor movement. Hundreds of union members -- and thousands of other working people -- have been killed in the assaults. Food service workers, secretaries, window washers, janitors, maintenance workers, flight attendants, communications workers, public employees, firefighters and police officers are among the brothers and sisters we have lost. They reflected the vast diversity of today's labor movement: women and men, people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds, gay and straight, and recent immigrants. Along with the rest of America, we condemn the attacks of September 11, mourn the losses and feel anger at the injustice of innocent victims, and empathize with the devastated families who must now go on. But much of the substance and tone of the U.S. government's response to these events has also troubled us. We fear that blind anger and violent retaliation will only result in further loss of innocent lives, both American and foreign, and perpetuate a destructive cycle of violence that has already gone on too long. We also do not believe that such violence will result in the justice that most Americans are truly seeking.

As a result, we call upon all those who work for social and economic justice, especially our sisters and brothers in the labor movement, to incorporate into their response to the crisis six basic principles:

1. Promote Solidarity. We cannot let the acts of a few extremists be used to justify hostility towards other Muslims, Arab-Americans, immigrants in general, or any other targeted group. We must be willing to speak out publicly against any acts of discrimination or intimidation based on race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, national origin, or immigration status. We must stand in solidarity with all working people.

2. Support Working People. We must insist on a relief package for displaced workers and compensation for the injured and families of the lost, paying particular attention to the needs of undocumented workers and those not protected by union representation. We must also be vigilant for attacks on organized labor, ranging from employers exploiting the situation to undermine organizing and bargaining, to legislators passing anti-labor legislation in the name of the "war effort."

3. Protect Civil Liberties. Domestic security is necessary to protect our freedoms and way of life. But we cannot let the quest for such security actually undermine those very freedoms and liberties. Especially in this time of crisis, civil liberties must be maintained.

4. Stop the Cycle of Violence. Nothing excuses the attacks. We must take seriously the threat of terrorism and develop an effective response. To do so, we must recognize that the violence did not begin on September 11. Instead, those terrible events were merely the latest in a long-standing cycle of violence. To perpetuate that cycle with a lengthy series of overt and covert military operations will merely result in the loss of more innocent lives and will pave the way for more retaliations and assaults on innocent Americans in the future.

5. Address the Source of Violence. Instead of more violence, we must be willing to seriously examine the conditions and policies that have provided the soil within which terrorism germinates. We must reexamine U.S. foreign policy, the stationing of massive numbers of U.S. troops abroad, and U.S. support for undemocratic regimes. We must be willing to hear the cries for justice and freedom that come from the world's poor, and act to support efforts that promote justice.

6. Seek Justice, not Vengeance. We should reject the crude calls for frontier "justice" of "dead or alive." Instead, we should affirm the importance of international law and seek civilized justice through the international courts and multinational mediating bodies. Justice is a global issue that requires the cooperation of many nations. It cannot be imposed on the world by a single "super-power." True justice will punish those responsible for injustice while providing insurance against future violence. We call on all people to incorporate these principles into their work and actions. We call especially on those in the labor movement to join us as we continue to do what the labor movement should always do: work for fairness and justice in our society and across the globe.

--- Labor Committee for Peace and Justice

CSEA Local 1000 SEIU

At its November 3-4 meeting, the Civil Service Division Council of CSEA Local 1000 SEIU, adopted the following resolution on the Terrorist Attack of September 11, 2001:

The Leadership of the CSD, CSEA Local 1000 SEIU adds its voice to that of working men and women worldwide expressing outrage at the senseless murders at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to the victims. We demand justice but not revenge.

However, we oppose any attempt to use the murderous acts committed by a small group of individuals as a rationale for restricting the democratic rights of the US population. As working people and unionist, we know that historically such restrictions will not prevent future attacks but will be used against us. Only social and economic justice for the people of the world championed by the people of our country can end the hatred that so many fee toward our government.

Background

It is unfortunate but true that the U.S. Government's foreign policies have not prioritized human rights, democracy or social justice for support of organizations or governments. Furthermore, it is important for the labor movement to counter attempts by the Government and the mecia to use this crisis as a way of increasing racism and intolerance and as a rationale for attacking the civil rights of US citizens, which historically means the rights of workers to organize and fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Many unions, union officials and civil rights leaders are issuing statements that, while condemning this crime against humanity, warns against any attempt to use this tragedy to undermine civil liberties or create greater divisions among the people of America.

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