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Union Leaders New
Coalition: U.S. Labor
Against the War


The following statement was released
in December by UE’s three national officers:

No to War! ...War on Iraq would be a disaster for the working people of the United States and the world. War on Iraq would be a living nightmare for the people of Iraq, especially civilians who have not harmed us in any way and yet would die by the tens of thousands.

War on Iraq would be the anti-solution to the madness of arms proliferation. War on Iraq would make a wider Middle East war, and use of Iraqi weapons (that actually exist), more, not less, likely. War would not bring us closer to the goal of genuine multilateral action to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Instead, unilateral, preemptive action by the U.S. would endanger world peace and further incite terrorism.

War would place at risk the lives of working-class youth in uniform. War would be an excuse for an otherwise unthinkable, budget-busting increase in military spending that would leave basic social needs strapped for decades. Researchers say an Iraq war would cost the U.S. from $99 billion to $1.9 trillion over a decade. As working people we would pay those costs through higher taxes and diminished education, retirement income, health care and jobs.

War would be an excuse for the Bush Administration to aggressively expand its attacks on civil liberties and the rights of workers to organize, bargain and strike. War fever would further inflame anti-Arab, anti-Muslim prejudice.

War would only enrich the top brass of military corporations — and, if "successful," the owners of energy corporations. With the blessing of the Bush White House and in hopes of a "regime change," Big Oil is already making plans to divvy up Iraq’s oil wealth.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) states unequivocally that no one, not a single American and not a single Iraqi, should die to boost the profits of oil and military corporations. We continue to regard a genuinely multilateral, diplomatic approach, sanctioned and directed by the United Nations, as the best way forward. We believe the billions of dollars President Bush is willing to waste in an unnecessary war would be far better spent rebuilding our country and meeting its urgent needs for universal health care and quality education.

UE declares, "No to war!" May the U.S. instead mobilize for peace, justice and equality."

John H. Hovis, General President
Bruce J. Klipple, General Secretary-Treasurer
Robert B. Kingsley, Director of Organization


Labor leaders representing more than two million union members on Jan. 11 launched a new organization to mobilize antiwar sentiment among organized workers.

Declaring itself "firmly against Bush’s war drive," the new coalition U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) intends to join the national debate over an attack on Iraq.

More than a hundred trade union leaders from 76 local, regional and national unions, central labor councils and other labor organizations attended what they termed "an unprecedented meeting to discuss our concerns about the Bush administration’s threat of war."

District 11 Pres. Carl Rosen and Intl. Rep. Saladin Muhammad attended the meeting. Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bruce Klipple, a signatory to the call to the founding meeting, will coordinate the union’s USLAW participation.

The union leaders declared that "the war is a pretext for attacks on labor, civil, immigrant and human rights at home" and that "Bush’s drive for war serves as a cover and distraction for the sinking economy, corporate corruption and layoffs."

Further, participants said in their statement that "U.S. military action against Iraq threatens the peaceful resolution of disputes among states, jeopardizing the safety and security of the entire world, including Americans."

Following a vigorous debate on the new organization’s founding statement, participants had a practical discussion on building the coalition and publicizing its position.

MORE (on the UE Web)
UE Policy (set by 2002 Convention)
UE Endorses Goals of Labor Against War (UE News Update)
UE Leaders Say 'No to War!' (UE News Update)
Blood and Oil - A Middle East Primer (UE News Feature)

U.S. Labor Against the War (Website)

UE News - 1/03

Home -> UE News ->  2003 Archives -> Article

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