Health Care Workers, SEIU Local 205, Pass
Resolution Against War on Iraq
following message was posted on the Internet October 29, 2002, from Sal
Rosselli, president of Local 250 of the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU). A message from Rosselli to the staff of Local 250 precedes the text of
the resolution adopted against Bush’s war on Iraq.
pleased to report that our Executive Board unanimously adopted the attached
position against Bush's Iraq plan. I'm thinking of organizing a labor memorial
for Paul Wellstone (Ed Herzog is doing a video using his visits to our Union)
and doing a brainstorm/planning session on labor's program to oppose the war.
I'll keep you informed and always welcome your ideas.
Sal Rosselli, President
SEIU Local 250
Health Care Workers Union, SEIU Local 250, has 85,000 members in Northern
California. Our members spend their working lives giving care to the sick, the
elderly, and the disabled. We work in both the public and the private sectors.
We care about human life and we care about our country. We participate fully in
our communities, in our state and local politics and government, in our
religious institutions, and in our union. As a union and as patriotic
Americans, we are obligated to educate ourselves about current affairs that
affect our members, our families, and our patients. We are obliged to make our
opinions known to our representatives. Through this resolution we are
addressing an issue of overriding concern to us—the possibility of the war on
Iraq initiated by our government.
discussion and debate by our Executive Board, we adopt the following positions
concerning a possible war with Iraq:
- We oppose any
unilateral, preemptive war against Iraq initiated by the United States or
any other nation. We urge our government to bring its case against Iraq to
the United Nations (UN) and to abide by the decision of the United
- Preemptive war should
need a higher standard of support from the international community than
does defensive war. If the United States or its close allies were under
attack from Iraq, the support of the United Nations would not be required.
Fortunately, this is not the case.
- We encourage the
President to continue to raise the issue of compliance by Iraq with the
terms of the 1991 agreement. We think the United Nations should enforce
its resolutions concerning inspection and disarmament, and it is
appropriate for the United States to use diplomatic and economic pressure
to achieve this end. It is not appropriate for the United States to bypass
the UN absent an immediate threat by Iraq against us or our allies or
- In our modern world we
must strengthen multinational institutions such as the UN or else we risk
a breakdown of international law. The U.S. must not be the nation that
sets the precedent for unilateral, preemptive war.
- The timing of this
rush to war by President Bush is very troubling and suspicious. Our
economy is in trouble; our social safety net is being weakened; our
seniors need coverage for prescription drugs; our health care system is in
crisis, and we have an election on the horizon. Suddenly President Bush
has changed the discussion into a referendum on whether or not the
American people will support our military in a war. And he has done this
in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that Iraq is more of an
immediate danger to any other nation that it was 6 months or a year ago or
even two years ago when President Bush was inaugurated.
- The American people
support a response to Al-Qaeda in reaction to the horrific September 11
attacks. This support must not be misused to justify attacking Iraq. There
is no credible evidence that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. A
preemptive attack against Iraq will weaken appropriate, multilateral
efforts to reduce terrorism.
- And, finally, we are
mindful that wars kill people and destroy societies. The potential death
toll in Iraq is staggering. Furthermore, an attack on Iraq would cause an
estimated 1.5 million Iraqi civilians to become refugees. War will spend
huge resources in people and money—resources that could be used for health
care, schools, and social services. Experts estimate that an attack would
use more than $100 billion of U.S. taxpayer monies. Because of these many
reasons, a war should be the last resort. We are not convinced that all
other options have been exhausted. We are not convinced that Iraq poses an
immediate threat to our country, our allies, or its neighbors, and we are
extremely suspicious of the timing of this rush to war.
are circulating this resolution to all of our senators and representatives from
California. We are also sending it to the Service Employees International Union
and we are requesting our International Union to circulate it to our local