Friday, July 22, 2005

An appeal to union members

Urgent letter to union members - Action Needed Prior to Start of AFL-CIO Convention

Urgent letter to union members - Action Needed Prior to
Start of AFL-CIO Convention

Dear friend,

If you are a member of a union please pay special
attention to this letter. If you are not, please bring
it to the attention of union members you know

>From July 24-28th the AFL-CIO will be holding it's
national convention in Chicago. Much attention has be
focused on the leadership question and differences
between groups of unions. This letter is NOT about

Also before the convention will be a resolution titled
"Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide,"
dealing with AFL-CIO activities in the field of foreign
relations. This resolution was passed unanimously by
the California Labor Federation which represents 2.4
million workers (1/6 of the AFL-CIO). It would
radically alter AFL-CIO ties to government policy.
"Build Unity and Trust" calls upon the AFL-CIO to
accept money from the National Endowment for Democracy
(NED) or other government agencies ONLY with "extreme
caution" and "ONLY to pursue the goals of honest
international labor solidarity...and renounce any tie
that would make us paid agents of the United States
Government or the forces of corporate economic

We are told that the Build Unity & Trust Resolution has
been endorsed by various Central Labor Councils,
including; Rochester, NY, Tucson, AZ, Denver,CO,
Seattle,WA, San Jose,CA, Monterey-Santa Cruz,CA, and
San Francisco,CA.

Because of growing support against the NED and NED
funding, several southern state federation executive
boards have submitted a self serving resolution written
by the AFL-CIO¹s "Solidarity Center" which gets most of
its money from the NED and other government agencies.
Their resolution avoids any mention of "solidarity
Center" funding by the NED and the Bush administration.

With more than one resolution submitted on the same
general topic, the Convention Resolutions Committee
will most likely draft a "composite" resolution and
present it to the Convention. Debate will then be on
their recommendation.

Attached to this letter are the members of the
Resolution Committee and their union affiliation.

If you are a member of any of their unions or central
labor councils or know anyone who is, we URGE you to
communicate with them, in a respectful way, your views
on the Build Unity & Trust Resolution.

In other words, we are asking you to do what you, and
anyone else you may know, can do right now.

It is urgent that letters be sent or faxed immediately
as some members of the Resolutions Committee are
already on their way to Chicago.




Dear _________,

As a member of __________________ I'm writing to you
today to ask you, as our representative on the
Resolutions Committee at the AFL-CIO Convention, to
support the "Build Unity and Trust Among Workers
Worldwide" resolution.

The resolution, which was passed by the 2.4 million
member California Labor Federation, cites some very
questionable AFL-CIO work abroad, recently in
Venezuela, financed through the government funded
National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It calls into
question the "dubious" history of the NED for
"assisting in overthrowing democratically elected
governments and interfering in the internal affairs of
the labor movements of other countries." The resolution
calls for "extreme caution in seeking or accepting"
government funds "and to accept these funds only to
further the goals of honest international labor
solidarity..." It calls upon the AFL-CIO to "renounce
any such tie that would make us paid agents of
government or the forces of corporate economic

The resolution asks for transparency in AFL-CIO
activities abroad. The same kind of transparency
demanded in the finances of our own unions. "Build
Unity and Trust" would allow the AFL-CIO to continue
genuine solidarity work. It urges the Federation to
turn, not to funding sources such as the Bush
administration, but to its affiliates and members.
Real solidarity has to be independently offered our
unions. We cannot continue to pass through Bush
administration resources dubiously labeled as

Thank you for giving "Build Unity and Trust" your
careful attention. I hope it will be benefited by your
support and leadership on the Convention Resolutions
committee and that you will help get it to the floor of
the convention with a positive recommendation. Its
passage will enable Federation foreign affairs
activities that are newly independent of government
ties and which can be trusted by workers and unions in
other countries.

In Solidarity,

(Your name and the name of your local union)


Members of the Resolutions Committee:

Gerald McIntee, President, AFSCME - Chair

Linda Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO Executive Vice
President, Vice Chair

Leo Gerard, President, USWA, Secretary

Jim Andrews, President, No. Carolina State AFL-CIO

Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU/UFCW President

Baxter Atkinson, American Federation of School

Rick Bender, President, Washington State AFL-CIO

Clayola Brown, Unite

Jeff Crosby, President, No. Shore, MA CLC

Jeff Fiedler, Food & Allied Service Trades Dept.

John Flynn, President, Bricklayers

Fred Frost, President, So. Florida AFL-CIO

John Gage, President, AFGE

Mike Goodwin, President, OPEIU

Bob Haynes, President, MA State AFL-CIO

William Hite, General President, UA (Plumbers & Pipe

Frank Hurt, President, Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco

Cheryl Johnson, President, United American Nurses

Gloria Johnson, IUE/CWA

Leon Lynch, Vice President, USWA

David Newby, President, WI State AFL-CIO

Terry O'Sullivan, President, Laborers Intl. Union

Clyde Rivers, President, CA School Employees
Association (CSEA)

John Ryan, President, Cleveland CLC

John Wilhelm, President, Unite HERE

Bill Young, President, NALC

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