Painters Local 10 forms anti-racist mobilization committee

At the monthly membership meeting March 15, Painters and Drywall Finishers IUPAT Local 10 voted to establish an anti-racist mobilization committee, joining similar efforts in other local unions to prepare to put into practice the resolution to “Stop the KKK and All Racist Groups.” This comes in the context of increasing racist and fascist threats across the Northwest, including the arson of a mosque in Bellevue, WA in January to the appearance of fascist graffiti in Portland earlier this month.

We reprint below the statement of the newly-elected chairman of the Local 10 committee, a journeyman painter with many years in the industry.

Sisters and Brothers, we are bound by oath to oppose racism within our ranks wherever and whenever. Our Constitution states:

To unite into one labor organization all workers eligible for membership, regardless of religion, race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, or sexual orientation

We also have an non-negotiable moral duty to extend this oath to our brothers and sisters outside our ranks. Not only is this a moral duty but also a clear opportunity to strengthen Union ranks and reverse the slow poisoning of our Institution. Racism past and present has driven a wedge between all workers which severally weakens the power of a united front (the basic fundamental factor in organized labor). It only serves to benefit those that profit from our labor and consolidate the corrupt power of corporate America. We must grab this opportunity presented to us by the current political climate of heightened racism and put all our institutional support behind the anti-racist movement. Both the labor and anti-racist struggle are inextricably intertwined. None should take priority. We as Union will reap huge benefit from fighting and finally eradicating racism. I will go as far to say that our very survival depends on it.

In light of this urgency, I here by purpose that we form our own Anti-Racist Mobilization committee. A committee that will stand shoulder to shoulder with other Anti-Fascist Committees formed by our brothers and sisters of different  trade unions. We will work to encourage fellow Unions to adopt the same principles and fight, we will reach out to all those organizations that have taken up this struggle in solidarity,  we will mobilize to support those who are increasingly under attack by racist elements, and we will show by example that Union brothers and sisters have the moral fortitude to not shrink from an oath bound duty.

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.