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Ask the Labor Movement to Take a Stand Against Another War
PLEASE READ AND FILL OUT ENDORSEMENT COUPON BELOW
To be sent September 20, 2013
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union
James Hoffa, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Robert McEllrath, President, International Longshore and Warehouse Union
The undersigned union activists strongly oppose a U.S. air attack against Syria. We know that you have heard the numerous arguments advanced against such an attack. We emphasize only one here because we believe it has not been given the weight it deserves.
We refer to the multiple crises here at home — unemployment, loss of pensions, threatened cuts in safety net programs especially Social Security and Medicare, cuts in food stamps, voter suppression, immigrant rights, sequestration, foreclosures, tens of millions without health care coverage even if the troubled Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, more states adopting right-to-work laws, growing poverty, attacks on public education, growing inequalities in wealth, etc. Dealing with these problems must be our priority. It is clearly against the interests of the majority to divert our attention from these burning issues by launching a war against Syria, which is 6,000 miles away, with the loss of life and the loss of the billions of dollars that would be expended.
We are writing you now to urge you to speak out publicly against yet another Mideast war, this time against Syria. Despite the current “pause” and turn to diplomacy, the threat to bomb Syria has not been taken off the table. Proponents of military action are regrouping and searching for ways to get language approved by Congress and/or the UN, which could then be used to “justify” air strikes. We must stay alert and on the ready to take united action to prevent what could be a catastrophic war.
People around the world are looking to see who in the U.S. is working to avert the bombing. All polls taken in country after country show overwhelming opposition to a strike. A wide range of organizations has staked out positions in the historic debate that is unfolding. But what about the U.S. labor movement? Where do we stand?
We must not be silent. Silence is complicity.Labor’s opposition to the war could prove to be decisive. Being silent and watching events from the sidelines cannot be an option. We hope you agree and will help ensure that the U.S. government and the whole world gets the message: American labor is for peace and against bombing Syria.
(List of union activists gathered by Thursday, September 19)
[ ]You can add my name to the list of endorsers of Open Letter to U.S. Labor Leaders on Syria.
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