Updated, from Bridge City Militant No. 4 (Spring 2017)
The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, the union body that represents over 20,000 carpenters and other construction workers in six states from Alaska to Wyoming, adopted this resolution at its February 2017 delegates meeting. This follows the adoption of similar resolutions, first in Painters Local 10 of Portland, Oregon, and later by Stagehands, Carpenters, graduate teaching assistants and Wobblies in Oregon and Washington. In April, a similar motion was adopted by the Oregon state convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and by Portland Laborers Local 483.
Labor militants in the UBC and elsewhere should use these resolutions to make preparations for union-based marshals and defense guards that will form the core of mass labor-centered mobilizations that can prevent fascist provocations and organizing in urban centers.
Mobilize Labor to stand against racist and fascist hate groups
Whereas, there has been a sharp increase in racist and anti-immigrant attacks across the country in recent days, and
Whereas, numerous hate groups have stated that they will stage menacing provocations in many areas, including the Pacific Northwest, and
Whereas, groups like the KKK and other racist organizations represent a deadly threat to African Americans, Latinos (and other people of color), immigrants, Muslims, Jews (and other marginalized religious groups), LGBTQ, among many others, and represent a threat directly to the members of this Union, and the labor movement as a whole, and
Whereas, the white supremacist forces are related to the origins of anti-labor “right to work” laws in order to destroy unions because they believed unions would lead to uniting and empowering the multi-national, multi-racial, working class to resist these attacks, and
Whereas, if the US labor movement is to rebuild its strength during this period of crisis of racist organizing and attacks, it must take up the struggle against white supremacy/white nationalism, not as an abstract debate, but as part of its social, political, and organizing agenda, and
Whereas, unions are considered a threat to many fascist groups, and other racist organizations because the unions are working class defense organizations for all workers in the community, and
Whereas, we stand by the principles of the UBC, who’s constitution states, “we recognize that the interests of all labor are identical regardless of occupation, sex, national origin, religion, or color, for a wrong done to one is a wrong done to all. We oppose all unlawful discrimination and harassment against workers, whether based on race, gender, nationality, or any other basis.”
Therefore be it resolved that the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters stands ready to join with the broader labor and social justice community in mobilizing against the clear and present danger that the provocations of racist and fascist organizations pose to us all.