Los Angeles SEIU Locals 660 and 535 Oppose Iraq War


The following resolutions by two Los Angeles locals of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) were posted on the Internet Jan. 3, 2003. It is encouraging that neither resolution makes its opposition to war on Iraq conditional on what the United Nations does, and that the resolution by SEIU Local 660 (representing 50,000 workers) calls for participation in an antiwar demonstration in Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 2003, with the slogan “Healthcare Not Warfare.”

Resolution

We are SEIU Local 660. We represent approximately 50,000 Los Angeles County employees who provide vital services to the County of Los Angeles. We work in health care, education, social services, and many departments in Los Angeles County that provide essential services to more than 10 million Los Angeles residents. We are concerned about human life and we care about our country. We participate energetically in our neighborhoods, communities, state and local politics and government, religious institutions and in our union. As trade union activists and as Americans, we have a responsibility and commitment to educate ourselves about important issues that affect our members, our families, patients, and clients. This resolution is presented as a response to the overriding concern to all of us—the possibility of war on Iraq initiated by our government and the Bush Administration.

Whereas,
We oppose any unilateral preemptive war against Iraq initiated by the United States or any other Nation.

Whereas,
Congress is forcing union members and other working and poor people to pay for this war drive. They plan to subsidize corporate profits by raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and cutting funding for economically distressed states and vital government programs, such as, health care, low income housing, and services to veterans and the homeless.

Whereas,
President Bush has made it clear that he will use domestic legislation by privatizing many of the federal workforces and erode the civil rights of federal workers in the name of “Homeland Security.”

Whereas,
Billions of dollars spent on the Iraq buildup (estimates as much as $200 billion by Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey) explain the cutbacks of critical social programs, education, health care, social security, housing, and threaten the rights of labor activists to strike and organize. The billions spent on American weapons of mass destruction, domestic terrorism, and corporate bailouts could better be used to provide retraining and jobs to hundreds of thousands of workers who lost their jobs after September 11. In addition, the billions spent on the Iraq War could provide bailout for states and local governments who are facing budgetary deficits resulting in loss of union jobs, health care, and cuts in vital social services.

Whereas,
The USA Patriot Act (so-called anti-terrorism act) serves to undermine labor’s right to organize and fight anti-immigrant attacks, using union-busting tactics. While many innocent citizens and non-citizens are detained for merely [being under] suspicion, the very fabric of our constitutional rights is weakened.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 goes on record emphatically opposing the Bush Administration’s war with Iraq and the Iraqi people.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 campaign to oppose and repeal USA Patriot Act.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 demand the immediate release of all immigrants held without due process and in violation of their civil and constitutional rights.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 urge the SEIU International Board to lobby the AFL-CIO to oppose the Bush Administration’s war on terrorism and the war in Iraq.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 urge members to participate in rallies, marches, and other activities to pressure President Bush and Congress to stop the inhumane war against Iraq and the Iraqi people and to have a visible presence by displaying banners and signs depicting SEIU Local 660’s opposition to the war. In addition, Local 660 formally endorses the anti-war rally and march January 11, 2003, under the banner “Healthcare Not Warfare.”

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 circulate this resolution to all of our senators and representatives from California and to the SEIU International Board. That Local 660 urge our SEIU International to take the lead in working and collaborating with other Unions to oppose war in Iraq initiating labor’s response to this inhumane war in Iraq.

Resolved,
That SEIU Local 660 expresses solidarity with labor in Iraq in its struggle for justice and labor rights against a repressive regime.

SEIU Local 660 AFL-CIO


Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People

We support peace for Iraq. We grant permission to use our name and city publicly as an opponent of the ongoing economic and bombing war on Iraq, and of any escalation of that war. We will communicate our support for peace to elected officials and consider other actions to work for peace with Iraq and other nations.

Adopted by the SEIU Local 535 Executive Board at the Executive Board meeting of June 3, 2002, at Los Angeles, CA.