66th Annual UE National Convention
Elect Klipple, Approve Financial Plan
Organizing 'Harder and More Necessary
At the Same Time'
Collective Action Brings Collective
Strong Support for Coach & Car
After Lengthy Discussion, Delegates
Back Financial Plan
Taking a Strong Stand Against Racism and
For Working Class Unity
Defending and Advancing Workers'
Interests Through Political Action
Mobilizing for Jobs and Justice
'Health Care for All' Convention
Rights of the Healthcare Worker Backed
Daily Convention Summaries
Annual UE Convention
Jobs and Justice
The union will mobilize the membership to oppose the Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and privatization and encourage greater
UE participation in the Jobs with Justice coalition, as a result of
Delegates adopted the report of the Policy Action
Committee, which moved a plan of action based on three resolutions:
"Stop FTAA," which "Demands that
Congress immediately reject the job-killing FTAA and the undemocratic
Trade Promotion Authority/Fast Track mechanism sought by big
"Stop Privatization and Expand Public Sector
Workers," which, in part, "Demands the conversion of
private sector to public sector jobs in those places where, because
public safety is at stake, public employment is appropriate," and
"Opposes the privatization of public services and
"Support the Jobs with Justice Movement,"
which renews UE’s support for Jobs with Justice "at the
national, district, and local level," including attendance at
Jobs with Justice conferences.
The plan adopted by the Convention:
Instructs locals and districts to organize
distribution of educational information exposing attacks on UE members’
jobs through FTAA and privatization and budget cuts;
Instructs locals and districts to discuss and decide
on the appropriate activities against these threats to UE members’
Requires the National union to assist in preparation
of materials and organization of conferences and delegations on the
national and state levels.
'WOLVES ALWAYS AT THE GATE'
"It’s appropriate that these resolutions are
together," commented Eric Marcks, Local 893. As a public
employee, Marcks said he’s especially concerned with privatization.
"We need to be alert to daily attempts to privatize, wolves are
always at the gate," he said, adding that the Iowa state legislature
is talking about "redesigning" government. This is relevant to
FTAA and the jobs under threat from multinational corporations; plant
closings weaken state budgets.
Trying to take advantage of the terrorist attack of Sept.
11, said Carl Rosen, District 11, the Administration and
Congressional Republicans will try to push through fast track and the FTAA
under the guise of a national economic emergency. "We can’t allow
our voices to be muted," he said.
Jobs with Justice represents some of the "best folks
in the labor movement," who have been supportive of UE battles, Rosen
said. This coalition is important to turning the labor movement around, he
| Ray Pompano
"I’m in support of all three," declared Ray
Pompano, Local 243. "FTAA will be so deadly for workers all over
the world, it will drag down wages to unbelievable levels."
An example of the kind of activities called for by the
plan, said Paul Spors, Local 1128, is "the really good turnout
we had for the parade on Labor Day." The event gave UE members a
chance to send a message to their Congressman, who voted for fast track.
"I’m proud of how our union stood together during that
parade," Spors said.
John Thompson, Local 690, liked the plan and
resolutions and how they connected. He pointed out how "the FTAA
opens up the public sector to privatization and poses a real threat to our
brothers and sisters in the public sector." Jobs with Justice, he
said, is a good coalition with which to combat both FTAA and
privatization. Pittsburgh’s Alliance for Progressive Action is a JwJ
affiliate which got started with the help of UE.
Connie Spinozzi, District One, and David Adams,
District Six, were the co-conveners of the Policy Action Committee.
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