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Report on Global Press Conference
Organizations Representing 130 Million Workers Say NO to War!
Posted Feb 19, 2003 [12:00 AM] GLOBAL LABOR PRESS CONFERENCE REPORTS ON INTERNATIONAL LABOR DECLARATION AGAINST WAR IN IRAQ
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 .
PARTICIPANTS ON CALL:
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