More Than Ever, We Must Build an Independent Labor Movement!

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[From the Labor Fightback Network: Below please find a resolution submitted by the San Francisco Labor Council to the September 8-12, 2013 AFL-CIO national convention in Los Angeles. We support the resolution and respectfully urge delegates to the convention to support it as well.]

Resolution Adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on June 10, 2013, for Submission to 2013 National AFL-CIO Convention

More Than Ever, We Must Build an Independent Labor Movement!

Whereas, on May 20, 2011, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement in which he called for building an “independent labor movement that builds the power of working people — in the workplace and in political life.” Our role, Trumka said, “is not to build the power of a political party or a candidate, it is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our economy.”

Whereas, we are an independent labor movement and as such should never subordinate the interests and needs of the working class to the dictates of politicians of either major party, as these politicians all too often defer to the corporate class.

Whereas, labor has been diverted from the struggle for an independent labor movement by the countless calls for “shared sacrifice” promoted by the employers and politicians in their service. Having accepted the framework of “shared sacrifice” has led labor to water down our demands and make compromises that have impeded us from mounting a powerful independent fightback movement, in alliance with our community partners, capable of rolling back the anti-worker assault and wresting concessions from the corporate class.

Whereas, in his 2013 State of the Union address and subsequently in his proposed 2014 budget, President Obama reiterated his call for spending cuts to our cherished social safety net programs — primarily to Social Security and Medicare — in his quest for a “Grand Bargain” with the Republicans and for “everybody doing their fair share.”

Whereas, Brother Trumka said that “cutting Social Security benefits and shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries — while exempting corporate America from shared sacrifice — is wrong and indefensible.” But these cuts are wrong and indefensible whether or not corporateAmerica agrees to the call for “shared sacrifice” and accepts to pay more taxes. There should be no cuts to our earned-benefits programs and social programs under any circumstances.

Whereas, defending, expanding and improving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and all social programs — will require mobilizing the full strength of our unions in mass actions in the streets, in alliance with our community partners.

Therefore be it resolved that, the AFL-CIO convention affirms the urgent need to build an independent labor movement, rejecting any and all calls for “shared sacrifice” and drawing a hard, unmovable, line in the sand when it comes to promoting the demands and interests of our members and the working class majority.

Be it further resolved that, the AFL-CIO convention mandates the incoming AFL-CIO leadership to bring the full power of the labor movement to bear, in conjunction with retirees and civil rights organizations, in a mass mobilization in Washington, DC — where the decisions are made — to demand: Stop all the cuts to Social Security, Medicare Medicaid and all other safety-net programs, expand and improve them, don’t cut them!; Create a federal public works program to put the 27 million unemployed and underemployed people in our country back to work!

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Issued by the Labor Fightback Network. For more information, please call 973-944-8975 or email [email protected] or write Labor Fightback Network, P.O. Box 187,Flanders, NJ  07836 or visit our website at http://laborfightback.org/conference/

  • Red Barron

    Rust Belt traditional industry is largely gone. Many existing unions from that Rust Belt era are corrupted and sold out. They don’t represent their rank and file members’ best interests anymore. Form new unions with the grass roots/populist flavor of the Occupy movement. Organize and unionize white collar and tech employees (including the growing ranks of the ‘consultants’/contract employees/free lancers/part-timers) plus employed grad students from the universities working as teaching assistants and/or research assistants/post-docs–the vast majority of which supervise no one, and therefore they are NOT part of capital and management. New jobs and industries require innovation and paradigm shift.

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