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A New USLAW Speaking Tour
A New USLAW Speaking Tour: Looking at the War through the Eyes of Our Veterans and Military Families, USLAW Vets & Military Families Task Force October 20th, 2005
The US Government is still at war with Iraq. They have spent over $200 billion of our taxes on this war. Nearly 2000 American soldiers and well over 100,000 Iraqi, mostly women and children, have been killed. More than 15,000 U.S. troops and countless thousands of Iraqis have been wounded, many maimed and disabled for life.As American workers, we feel the war everyday in our concessionary contracts and in our ever-declining government services.US Labor Against the War (USLAW), a membership organization of over 100 labor organizations, state federations, labor councils, and thousands of individual unionists, is launching a speaking tour with vets and military families to speak directly to union members and leaders, to engage them in first hand experiences in the war, and to make connections between the war on Iraq and the war on workers at home. In August and September of 2005, the entire nation and the world was riveted as Cindy Sheehan and other military families gathered at the President's ranch in Crawford, TX and then traveled across the country demanding an end to the war. For the vets in Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Vets for Peace, for the parents and loved ones in Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), the best way to support the troops is to bring them home now.We urge your union to plan meetings with rank and file members as well as leaders in which representa-tives from these vets and family groups, along with USLAW leaders can speak. The objective is to reach those who may not yet be convinced - who have doubts or questions - not just those who are already active in the antiwar movement. You give us the dates, times and places, and we'll schedule speakers to attend. Tell us how much time you can allot to this exchange (e.g., 90 minutes, 30-minutes, 20-minutes) and we'll prepare a presentation. Tell us if you'd like us to include information on contract language that can protect our members called to military service or from exploitation and discrimination upon return from military servic
e. Here are a few suggestions:· Invite speakers to meetings of local unions, stewards' councils, district council meetings, union conferences or conventions, meetings of benefit reps, union employee assistance reps, and cross union formations like CBTU or CLUW. · Let us participate in meetings in which you provide training to union reps on issues for which they may have to advise members, including those who have been called to serve, those returning from service, military families and those with children facing issues of enlistment. · Hold public events to attract rank and file members of several unions concerned with these issues. Ask you labor council to organize a program open to all union members and their families. · Invite speakers to address your contract negotiating team to talk about the needs of vets and military families during and after military service. · Hold a Veterans Day event in November to honor vets and their families.Please contact USLAW (email@example.com) to discuss possible meetings or to book speakers for a scheduled meeting. In most locales the IVAW, MFSO and Vets for Peace have terrific speakers and would very much like to join with USLAW in speaking with your union members. Some of these people might even be members or have family who are members of your union. Please make room in your union schedules and in your hearts for these brave men and women. Contact information: Email - firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 521-5265.