US union calls for end to war
and bringing US troops home
Nearly 4000 delegates of the Service Employees International Union, the nation's largest union with 1.6 million members, voted unanimously at the union's national convention in San Francisco in June to end the US occupation of Iraq and to bring US troops home. A strongly worded resolution linked military intervention abroad and attacks on workers at home. The resolution charged the Bush administration (backed by a majority in Congress) with responsibility for declining wages and benefits, deunionisation, cuts in public services, crumbling health care and educational systems, cuts in veterans benefits, escalating public debt and eroding economic, social and personal security. The union proclaimed, "We cannot solve these economic and social problems without addressing US foreign policy and its consequences." It accused the Bush administration of using "deception, lies and false promises to the American people and the world" to launch a "unilateral, pre-emptive war" in Iraq, causing the death of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of US soldiers, and costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. US trade unions established in 2003 an organisation, US Labor Against the War (USLAW). It is a national network of labour organisations and has more than 70 labour affiliates. The USLAW calls for a just foreign policy based on international law and global justice; an end to the US occupation of Iraq; redirecting the nation's resources from inflated military spending to meeting human needs; supporting US troops by bringing them safely home; protecting labour, civil and immigrant rights and civil liberties; and solidarity with workers around the world struggling for labor and human rights, and those in the US who support US foreign and domestic policies that reflect our nation's highest ideals. The Service Employees International Union resolved to work with all religious, community, political and foreign policy groups which support similar policies.