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Global Labor Rejects an Iraq War   |   GLOBAL TELEPHONE PRESS CONFERENCE   |   International labor statement opposing war in Iraq   |   Report on Global Press Conference

Report on Global Press Conference
Organizations Representing 130 Million Workers Say NO to War!

Over 200 unions and 550 union leaders from 53 countries representing 130 million workers have signed the International Labor Declaration circulated by USLAW, beginning just ten days ago.

Workers of the world have spoken with a single voice, demanding that the US abandon its militaristic threats of illegal aggression against Iraq. They have said in unison, "Give peace a chance!"

This is the first time in history that the world's labor movements have come together to speak with a single voice on an issue of urgent international concern.

On Wednesday, February 19, USLAW convened an unprecedented global telephone press conference to brief the media about the Declaration and its signatories.

Participating in that call were representatives of major labor federations and unions from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Quebec, France, England, Tunisia, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia, and Italy. Each made a brief statement about their organization's antiwar activities and expressed their solidarity with one another in building a global labor front against War in Iraq.

They reported on the massive participation of workers and unions in the February 15-16 demonstrations and promised continued waves of actions in their countries. Among the steps being taken or planned are convening meetings with the leaders of those countries who are supporting the war, national teach-ins at every school level in France, a call for a world-wide meeting of teachers' unions to oppose the war, the refusal of unions to transport war goods, work stoppages and other forms of workplace protests, and massive demonstrations at US embassies around the world if war breaks out. Note was taken of the meeting of the AFL_CIO General Executive Board meeting next week in Florida. A number of major national affiliates such as CWA and AFSCME, have adopted resolutions which they intend to submit for discussion.

The unions agreed to continue to communicate and coordinate strategies and activities, as this effort represented just the first of many steps that will be taken together to demonstrate broad popular opposition to war.

The press conference was broadcast in real time on the World Wide Web. A recording of it will be posted shortly on the USLAW Website at .


Australia: Sharan Burrows, President, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Australia: Leigh Hubbard, Victorian Hall Trades Council, ACTU

Brazil: Julio Turra, National Executive Director, CUT Federation

Canada: Judy Darcy, National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canada: Carol Phillips, Director of the International Dept., Canadian Auto Workers (CAW)

Canada: Debra Bourque, President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

France: Paul Barbier, General Secretary of Education & Culture Dept., Force Ouvriere (FO)

Italy: Enzo Bernardo, Director of the International Dept., CGIL, Funzione Pubbblica

Mexico: Francisco Hernandez Juarez, Co-President, UNT

Middle East (Tunisia): Djeman Hacene, General Secretary, International Confederation of Arab Unions

Pakistan: Rubina Jamil, President, All-Pakistan Trade Union Federation

Quebec: Claire Lalande, International Dept., CSQ

UK: Mick Rix, General Secretary, Assc. Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

USA: Larry Cohen, Executive Vice President, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

USA: Bob Muehlenkamp, National Co-Convenor of USLAW and former Organizing Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

USA: Gene Bruskin, National Co-Convenor of USLAW

USA: Amy Newell, Former Business Manager, Monterey Bay Labor Council, now national organizer for USLAW

Messages were also read from ZENROREN of Japan and KCTU of South Korea