NYC Health Care Workers say: Mobilize the power of labor to defend Muslims and immigrants

The following motion was adopted by AFSCME DC 37 Local 768 (NYC Health Care Employees) on February 6. This news can also be found on the website of Class Struggle Education Workers.

WHEREAS, the crisis of the undocumented in the United States has deep roots in a system of oppression and colonialism in which the U.S. played a major role; and

WHEREAS, some Local 768 members have been given instructions to decrease the population of undocumented immigrants in their facilities by 40%; and

WHEREAS, Local 768 members, like health care providers and other workers, have grave concerns over threats to this desperately needed safety net coverage; and

WHEREAS, Local 768 believes we have a basic ethical obligation to defend undocumented immigrants in need of health care from round-ups, jail and deportation by ICE; and

WHEREAS, any attempt to have Local 768 members identify patients for such discriminatory treatment would violate not only our professional obligations but NYC law and NYC Health + Hospitals’ stated policy; and

WHEREAS, this situation is made even more urgent by Trump’s attacks on “sanctuary cities” and NYC regulations limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities; and

WHEREAS, we join with NYC-area building-service, education, Teamster, construction trades and other unionists in standing up for the rights of us all in opposition to attacks on our Muslim and immigrant sisters and brothers; and

WHEREAS, solidarity is a matter of life or death for labor, which is now under attack by anti-union “right to work” legislation and court cases (Friedrichs); therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Local 768 formally and publicly states the following:

1) We will continue to serve all those in need and oppose any attempt to use immigration status against them, or to collect such information.

2) We will not go along with demands to cut care to undocumented patients, which would violate our most basic ethical responsibilities.

3) We also reject any attempt to undermine the federally mandated right to treatment of all those seeking emergency care.

4) Local 768 will establish a committee to defend the rights of immigrant patients, families and staff.

5) We advocate that the unions of the NYC metropolitan area come together in a massive protest showing the power of labor to stand up against any and all anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and other racist attacks in line with the labor motto, “AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.”

Carpenters, Stagehands, Seattle Wobblies, Painters Prepare to Stop Fascists

Carpenters Local 1503, IATSE (Stagehands) Local 28, and the Seattle branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have recently joined the preparations to stop fascist provocations by passing resolutions similar to the Portland Painters Local 10 anti-KKK mobilization resolution.

What is needed now is the preparatory organization of union-based defense groups, to form the core of mass mobilizations to deny the fascists the ability to agitate and recruit in multiracial urban strongholds of the working class.

Portland Painters and Drywall Finishers Say: Mobilize Labor to Stop the KKK and All Racist Groups

Mobilize Labor to Stop the KKK Whereas, there has been a sharp increase in racist and anti-immigrant attacks across the country in recent days, and Whereas, the Ku Klux Klan has announced it would stage menacing provocations in many areas, and Whereas, the KKK and other racist organizations represent a deadly threat to African Americans, Latinos and immigrants, as well as to Muslim, LGBTQ, and Jewish people, among many others, and directly to the members of this Union and the labor movement as a whole. Whereas, the white supremacist forces are related to the origins of anti-labor “right to work” law in order to destroy unions because they believed unions would lead to “race mixing” among workers, and Whereas unions are considered a threat to the KKK and other racist organizations because they are a working class defense organization for all workers in the community. Therefore be it resolved that the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 10 stands ready to join with the community in mobilizing against the clear and present danger that the KKK and other racist organizations provocations pose to us all. Resolution approved by the membership of Local 10 at the monthly membership meeting on November 16th, 2016 at Portland, OR.
Painters and Drywall Finishers IUPAT Local 10 resolution: Mobilize Labor to Stop the KKK. Click to download printable version

CSWP calls on labor organizations to follow Local 10’s lead and prepare to defend immigrants, Blacks, Muslims and all the oppressed against racist attacks and provocations. Disponible aquí en español.

Mobilize Labor to Stop the KKK

Whereas, there has been a sharp increase in racist and anti-immigrant attacks across the country in recent days, and

Whereas, the Ku Klux Klan has announced it would stage menacing provocations in many areas, and

Whereas, the KKK and other racist organizations represent a deadly threat to African Americans, Latinos and immigrants, as well as to Muslim, LGBTQ, and Jewish people, among many others, and directly to the members of this Union and the labor movement as a whole.

Whereas, the white supremacist forces are related to the origins of anti-labor “right to work” law in order to destroy unions because they believed unions would lead to “race mixing” among workers, and

Whereas unions are considered a threat to the KKK and other racist organizations because they are a working class defense organization for all workers in the community.

Therefore be it resolved that the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 10 stands ready to join with the community in mobilizing against the clear and present danger that the KKK and other racist organizations provocations pose to us all.

Resolution approved by the membership of Local 10 at the monthly membership meeting on November 16th, 2016 at Portland, OR.

Painters & Drywall Finishers Say: Break with the Democrats, For a Workers Party

The following resolution was introduced by CSWP supporters and adopted unanimously by IUPAT Local 10 members at their meeting on 17 August 2016. CSWP fights to unchain the power of the working class by breaking our unions away from the parties of capital. Join us!

No Support to the Democrats, Republicans,
or Any Party of the Bosses

Whereas the bosses have two parties to represent their class while the millions of working people have none, and

Whereas the Democratic president Barack Obama sent the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce scabbing against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union during the 2013-14 lock-out of northwest dock workers, and

Whereas the Democratic governor Kate Brown opposed and undercut the movement for a $15 minimum wage across Oregon, and

Whereas in 2014 Democrats in Congress joined with Republicans to pass a disastrous pension “reform,” allowing the bosses to escape their obligations and cheat our retirees, and

Whereas the two presidencies of the Democrat Barack Obama have been eight years of unending war in the Middle East,North Africa and Asia, causing untold human suffering, millions of refugees, and attacks on our democratic rights at home, and

Whereas the Democratic Party in power has deported some 5 million immigrants, a record, and

Whereas across the country, from Oakland to Baltimore, police under Democratic mayors regularly murder black men and women with impunity, and

Whereas the 2016 presidential election offers us the “choice” between a raving, bigoted clown and a career representative of Wall Street, and

Whereas the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Virginia governor Tim Kaine, supports union- busting “right to work” laws, and

Whereas Democrats and Republicans are and have always been strike-breaking, war-making parties of the bosses, and

Whereas so long as the labor movement supports one or another party of the bosses, we will be playing a losing game, therefore be it

Resolved that IUPAT Local 10 does not support the Democrats, Republicans, or any bosses’ parties or politicians, and

Resolved that we call on the International Union to repudiate its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, and

Resolved that we call on the labor movement to break from the Democratic Party, and build a class-struggle workers party.

News of this resolution was also published by the Northwest Labor Press. The text of the resolution is available in Spanish here.

Resolution for 2015 Oregon AFL-CIO convention

MOBILIZE UNION POWER AGAINST “RIGHT-TO-WORK” UNION-BUSTERS

WHEREAS, unions are required by law to represent all employees in a bargaining unit, whether they are union members or not; and

WHEREAS, at least two “right-to-work” initiatives, allowing workers in unionized public sector jobs to avoid paying for their representation, are in the process of becoming ballot measures in Oregon; and

WHEREAS, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a main sponsor of misnamed “right-to-work” initiatives in the Pacific Northwest, financed by union-bashers such as the Koch Brothers and Wal-Mart, is pushing lawsuit against SEIU Local 503 which represents over 20,000 home care workers in Oregon; and

WHEREAS, the unionization of the largely minority home health care workers in the state has raised their wages by more than two-thirds, as well as providing medical and health coverage; and

WHEREAS, unionization has boosted the wages and job security of all workers and particularly of African American, Latino, Native American and immigrant workers; and

WHEREAS, the anti-labor ballot measures are designed to undermine and financially ruin public sector unions which are vital to the welfare and living standards of all workers; and

WHEREAS, ballot measures in Oregon are part of a national campaign by corporations and their political supporters to destroy unions and wipe out the gains won by organized labor; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court last July agreed to hear a case that could eliminate “fair-share” fees paid to public sector unions, in effect creating a national “right-to-work” law by judicial fiat; and

WHEREAS, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, after eliminating collective bargaining rights for public sector workers in 2011 and now ramming through a state “right-to-work” law, is campaigning for such a law nationally; and

WHEREAS, the same forces backing these union-busting laws such as Illinois governor Bruce Rauner want to eliminate the minimum wage entirely rather than raising it to a living wage; and

WHEREAS, support for these measures in Oregon comes from big lumber, including Freres Lumber Co. and Stimson Lumber Co. and right-wing politicians such as Washington County Attorney, Jill Gibson; and

WHEREAS, workers in “right-to-work” states earn substantially lower wages, have less employer-sponsored health insurance or pensions and significantly higher workplace death rates due to weakened union protections; and

WHEREAS, the experience of Michigan, where anti-union forces pushed through “right-to-work” laws with a stealth campaign while organized labor did little to stop them, shows the danger of complacency; and

WHEREAS, backroom deals with legislators and state officials will not stop a determined employer offensive; and

WHEREAS, the union-bashing offensive that began even before the 1981 PATCO air controllers strike, which many other unions failed to support, shows that a failure to fight has disastrous results; and

WHEREAS, the powerful labor mobilization in Wisconsin in 2011 demonstrated that the public will enthusiastically back unions when they fight, despite anti-labor media campaigns; and

WHEREAS, the failure of Wisconsin unions to call a state-wide strike at the crucial moment, even after preparing for one, led to a devastating defeat while the strategy of a “recall” and voter turnout campaigns predictably failed to repeal “right-to-work” legislation in Wisconsin; and

WHEREAS, the power of our unions rests in our ability to use our economic strength in defense of our rights as workers, and failure to use that power only emboldens the labor-haters; and

WHEREAS, we have had enough of the one-sided class war waged by profit-greedy bosses,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this body expresses the determination of Oregon workers to whatever it takes to defeat any such union-busting laws, including using our right to strike to defend the union shop; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we urge Oregon and Washington unions and their supporters to mobilize at “right-to-work” events with rallies, marches and other means to expose the drive by cutthroat employers to drive our wages to the bottom while they make billions in profits from our labor; and be it further

RESOLVED, that area unions should prepare a major region-wide stop-work action against this effort to impoverish workers by using the courts and the rest of their legal arsenal; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Oregon AFL-CIO will encourage and support any affiliated locals collecting dues from represented workers directly, in order to stymie employer attempts to cripple labor financially; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that in defending union independence from the bosses and standing together in defense of all those threatened by the employers’ assault, WE HAVE THE POWER TO DEFEAT THE WAR ON WORKERS, BUT WE MUST USE THAT POWER OR LOSE IT.

Portland Unions Condemn Racist Police Murder in Pasco, WA

The following statement was endorsed by IATSE Local 28 on April 14, and by IUPAT Local 10 on April 15, 2015. What’s urgently needed is to mobilize the power of organized labor to protest the epidemic of racist murder by the police.

On February 11th, 2015 an unarmed Antonio Zambrano Montes was brutally murdered in a hail of police bullets after being accused of throwing rocks. The 35 year old apple picker and father of two was shown in videos of the incident to be running away from police, then turning with his empty hands outstretched as police opened fire.

Such cold disregard for human life is not out of the ordinary for Pasco police, as this became the third such incident in recent weeks. The nearly all-white police force in Pasco is used to getting its own way, and patrols a population that is at least 60% latino. In light of the recent protests in Ferguson, MO against the murder of Michael Brown and subsequent findings of thoroughly racist practices of the local police there, the rot at the core of policing in America has been laid bare.

As unionists and workers, we condemn the racist murder of a fellow worker, Antonio Zambrano Montes, and we call on all unions to mobilize with the people of Pasco against the racist bosses and their good ol’ boys in blue.