Friday, March 19, 2010

WERC Appeal to Labor Leaders For a Solidarity Day III on Jobs, Peace and Justice

P.O. Box 40009
San Francisco, CA 94140
Tel. 415-641-8616
March 19, 2010

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Executive Council of the California Labor Federation, representing two million organized workers, over one-sixth of the membership of the AFL-CIO, passed a resolution on Feb. 23, 2010, calling on the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to organize a Solidarity Day III demonstration in Washington, D.C. for Jobs, Peace and Justice. Other unions and organizations that recently passed similar resolutions include the Labor for Single Payer Campaign -- representing a broad array of local unions, labor councils and state federations -- as well as the San Francisco Building Trades Council.

These resolutions are in response to a deteriorating situation for working people. Unemployment continues unabated, home foreclosures are still rising, and because of the recession, many states are suffering huge budget deficits, meaning that they are slashing social services and funding for education so that even more people are losing their jobs. Instead of mounting a massive jobs-creation program, the federal government is contemplating reducing the federal deficit by attacking entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has recently condemned these trends and offered a different approach: "The best way to fix the deficit is to create 10 million jobs now -- the number of jobs needed to close our jobs deficit. This will require large amounts of public investment in the short term, which should be paid for in future years by taxing Wall Street."

In response to the Massachusetts Senate elections where Republican Scott Brown won, President Trumka also stated: "It's not time to leave it to any political party to take care of us once we put them in office. It's time to organize and mobilize as never before to make every elected or aspiring leader PROVE he or she will create the jobs we need in an economy we need with the health care we need. ... I know we are the people who can mobilize a massive army to force elected leaders to deliver."

We agree with these statements by President Trumka. Now is the time to rely on ourselves, not on the politicians, and to mobilize a massive demonstration in Washington, D.C. for Jobs, Peace and Justice.

Although small demonstrations are helpful, massive demonstrations, because they cannot be ignored by the media, place much more pressure on the politicians to do the right thing. Huge demonstrations give the participants the conviction that they are not alone, that they truly represent the interests of the majority of the people in this country, that our cause is just, and that we have the power to win. In this way these demonstrations enthuse and energize the participants who then want to continue the struggle.

The AFL-CIO has recently launched a two-week campaign (see across the country, calling for rallies and demonstrations at the Big Six Wall Street banks (Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo/Wachovia) in order to broadcast the following message: "It's time to create good jobs now, and the big Wall Street banks that destroyed jobs should pay to restore them." There are three demands: "Stop refusing to pay your fair share to restore the jobs you destroyed, stop fighting financial reform, and start lending to your communities, small businesses and others starved for credit."

We encourage you to attend one of these demonstrations and raise the idea of calling on the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to organize a massive demonstration of working people to demand that the government resolve the economic crisis in favor of working people by creating jobs and taxing Wall Street, rather than resolving the crisis at our expense so that the bankers can continue their outrageous bonuses.

We have included a Model Resolution for such a Solidarity Day III demonstration below, along with an endorsement coupon. You will also find below an updated list of endorsers of this important campaign.

We hope to hear back from you.

In solidarity,

Bill Leumer and Alan Benjamin
Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign
in Support of a Labor-Sponsored March on Washington

WHEREAS in the aftermath of the Massachusetts special senatorial election, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued a statement declaring "It's time to organize and mobilize as never before to make every elected or aspiring leader PROVE he or she will create the jobs we need in an economy we need with the health care we needs. I know we are the people who can mobilize a massive army to force elected leaders to deliver;" and

WHEREAS despite the so-called economic recovery, the economic crisis for working people has continued unabated with growing unemployment and underemployment, rising home foreclosures and evictions, and the underfunding of public education and vitally needed social services; and

WHEREAS the government has bestowed billions of bailout dollars on the financial institutions whose recklessness and greed created this economic crisis and who are rewarding those responsible with obscene gigantic bonuses; and

WHEREAS the labor movement's legislative priorities -- a massive program for jobs, true universal health care, and enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act -- are all in great peril; and

WHEREAS while the government has no problem allocating a trillion dollars for two wars thousands of miles away, it has not committed funds critically needed to put America back to work, with health care and quality education for all; and

WHEREAS right wing, anti-labor forces, such as the Tea Party movement, have brought hundreds of thousand of people into the streets to advance their reactionary demands; and

WHEREAS there is a growing movement within the House of Labor to counter the right wing offensive against workers' living standards with our own massive mobilization; and

WHEREAS various union bodies, including the California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), the South Carolina Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), the Labor for Single-Payer Campaign, the San Francisco Building Trades Council, the South Bay Labor Council (CA), Plumbers and Fitters Local 393, Troy Area Labor Council (NY), San Mateo Labor Council (CA) and the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the Council of New Jersey State College Locals (CNJSCL, AFT-AFL-CIO), among others, have adopted resolutions calling upon the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to organize a Solidarity Day III March on Washington D.C.. in the spring or summer of 2010 to demand jobs, health care, housing, full funding for public education and social services, and peace; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the ________ [NAME OF YOUR UNION/ORGANIZATION] joins with our brothers and sisters in calling for a labor-sponsored march on Washington for jobs, peace and justice, which would have the capability of mobilizing the kind of massive army Brother Trumka spoke of; and be it finally

RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the AFL-CIO and to Change to Win.

[ ] I endorse the Model Resolution [see above] Urging Support for a Solidarity Day III March in DC for Jobs, Peace and Justice.

[ ] My union / organization endorses the Model Resolution Urging Support for a Solidarity Day III March in DC.

[ ] I pledge a contribution of $ _____ toward your WERC financial campaign. My check will be made payable to "WERC" and mailed to WERC, P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.


UNION/ORG (for info purposes only)






(please fill out and return to
Updated list of initial endorsers of Call for a Labor-Sponsored
Demonstration in Washington for Jobs, Peace and Justice

(as of March 19, 2010)

- California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
- South Carolina State, AFL-CIO
- San Francisco Labor Council
- South Bay Labor Council (San Jose, Calif.)
- San Mateo Central Labor Council
- Hartford (CT) Central Labor Council
- Troy (NY) Central Labor Council
- Labor For Single Payer Campaign
- AFT Local 1021 (Los Angeles)
- Council of New Jersey State College Locals (CNJSCL), AFT-AFL-CIO
- Executive Council, AFT Missouri
- National Jobs for All Coalition
- California Peace and Freedom Party
- Harlem Tenants Council
- Harlem Antiwar Coalition
- Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice
- Ohio State Labor Party
- Railroad Workers United
- Painters and Dry Wall workers Local 93 (Bay Area)
- Prosperity Agenda

- Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report)
- Donna Smith, American SiCKO, American Patients United
- Harry Kelber (Labor Educator)
- Sharon Black (Organizer, Bail Out the People Movement)
- Monadel Herzallah (Arab American Union Members Council)
- Andy Griggs (UTLA member)
- Don Bechler (chair, Single Payer Now!)
- Larry Duncan* (Labor Beat-Chicago)
- Allan Fisher (AFT 2121)
- Fred Hirsch (South Bay Labor Council)
- Jerry Gordon (Ohio State Labor Party)
- Bill Balderston (Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice)
- Chris Silvera, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Union Local 808
- Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, Prosperity Agenda
- Chris Driscoll,* Recording Secretary, Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics
- Alan L. Maki,* Director of Organizing Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
- Joe Tonan,* Claremont Faculty Association, a Chapter of the California Teachers Association
- Gregory W. Paquin,* Business Manager, Native American Indian Labor Union #12

WERC Interim National Committee Members:

- Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Gulf Coast Reconstruction activist
- Alan Benjamin,* Executive Committee member, San Francisco Labor Council
- Mike Carano, Progressive Democrats of America
- Colia Clark, Veteran, Civil Rights Movement
- Donna Dewitt*, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO
- Pat Gowens, National organizer, Welfare Warriors
- Bill Leumer,* International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853 (ret.)
- Luis MagaƱa, Coordinator, Organization of Farmworkers of California (OTAC)
- Cynthia McKinney, Former Member of Congress, 2009 Green Party presidential candidate
- Jack Rasmus, Economist, Professor at St. Mary's College
- Al Rojas, Coordinator, Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior
- Marc Rich, United Teachers of Los Angeles
- Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star mother, antiwar activist
- Clarence Thomas, Member, ILWU Local 10
- Mark Vorpahl*, SEIU Local 49, Portland, OR
- Nancy Wohlforth*, Co-Pres., Pride at Work/AFL-CIO, Vice Pres.,California Federation of Labor

(* titles & org. for id. only)

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