US-Gewerkschaft fordert Abzug der US-Truppen - Union Calls for Withdrawal of U.S. Troops, 25.06.2004 (Friedensratschlag)
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"Diese Krise ist ein Ergebnis der Politik der US-Regierung"
"This crisis is a product of the Bush Administration's policies"

Die größte US-Gewerkschaft fordert Ende der Besatzung und Abzug der US-Truppen
Nation's Largest Union Calls for End to U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

Am 22. Juni 2004 verabschiedeten die 4.000 Delegierten des nationalen Kongresses der Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft der USA (Service Employees International Union - SEIU) in San Francisco einstimmig eine Resolution, in der sie sich gegen die Besatzungspolitik der US-Regierung im Irak und für einen sofortigen Rückzug der Truppen aus dem Land einsetzen. Die SEIU ist mit 1,6 Millionen Mitgliedern die größte Einzelgewerkschaft in den USA.

Die scharf formulierte Resolution stellt einen Zusammenhang zwischen der Interventionspolitik im Ausland und den Angriffen auf die Rechte der Arbeiter im eigenen Land. US-Präsident Bush und seine Administration, die von der Mehrheit des US-Kongresses unterstützt werden, werden verantwortlich gemacht für die sinkenden Löhne und Leistungen, Einschnitte bei den öffentlichen Leistungen, die Zertrümmerung des Gesundheitssystems und des Bildungssystems, Einschnitte bei den Renten, Verschuldung der öffentlichen Haushalte und dem Abbau der wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und persönlichen Sicherheit.

Die Gewerkschaft erklärte: "Wir können diese ökonomischen und sozialen Probleme nicht lösen ohne die Außenpolitik der USA und ihre Folgen anzusprechen." Die Bush-Administration wird beschuldigt, mit Mitteln der "Täuschung, der Lüge und falscher Versprechungen" einen "unilateralen, präemptiven Krieg" vom Zaun gebrochen zu haben, der Tausenden Iraker und Hunderten US-Soldaten das Leben gekostet habe. Die Kosten für die Steuerzahler belaufen sich auf "Hunderte Milliarden US-Dollar".

In der Resolution wird die SEIU auf die Prinzipien verpflichtet, die in einem Grundatzpapier der Organisation "U.S. Labor against the War" (USLAW) enthalten sind. USLAW ist ein nationales Netzwerk mit mehr als 70 angeschlossenen Arbeiterorganisationen, einschließlich einem Dutzend größerer lokaler SEIU-Organisationen. Das Netzwerk war 2003 gegründet worden, um den Protest gegen die Kriegspolitik der Bush-Administration zu organisieren.

Die Prinzipien dieser Erklärung von USLAW enthalten u.a. folgende Punkte:
  • eine Außenpolitik, die auf internationalem Recht und globaler Gerechtigkeit basiert;
  • die Beendigung der US-Besatzung im Irak;
  • Umlenkung der inflationären Militärausgaben zugunsten der Befriedigung menschlicher Bedürfnisse;
  • Schutz der Arbeit, der Rechte von Immigranten und der bürgerlichen Freiheiten;
  • Solidarität mit den Arbeitern der ganzen Welt, die für Arbeit und Menschenrechte kämpfen
Der Gewerkschaftskongress beschloss in seiner Resolution, mit allen religiösen und politischen Organisationen zusammenzuarbeiten (auch mit USLAW), die sich hinter einen Brief des Gewerkschaftsvorsitzenden Andy Stern an Präsident Bush stellöen. Stern hatte im Januar 2003 an Präsident Bush geschrieben und folgende Prinzipien angemahnt: Krieg nur als allerletztes Mittel, friedliche multilaterale Lösungen bei internationalen Verhandlungen, eine Außenpolitik, die zuallererst das Wohl der Menschen dieser Welt im Auge hat, Schutz jener Rechte und Freiheiten im eigenen Land, welche die Regierung außerhalb der USA proklamiert.

Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir eine erläuternde Einführung in die Resolution sowie den vollständigen Text der Resolution im Original.

Nation's Largest Union Calls for End to U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

Nearly 4000 delegates of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's largest with 1.6 million members, voted unanimously at the union's national convention in San Francisco today to end U.S. occupation of Iraq and to bring U.S. troops stationed there home.

The strongly worded resolution pointed to military intervention aboard 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, deunionization, 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 U.S. 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, preemptive war" in Iraq, causing the death of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of U.S. soldiers, and costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

The resolution aligned SEIU with the principles contained in the Mission Statement of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), a national network of labor organizations founded in 2003 to oppose war in Iraq and the Bush administration's foreign policies of unilateralism, militarism and preemptive war. USLAW has more than 70 affiliated labor organizations, including a dozen SEIU's largest local unions.

Those principles include
  • a just foreign policy based on international law and global justice;
  • an end to U.S. occupation of Iraq;
  • redirecting the nation's resources from "inflated military spending" to meeting human needs;
  • supporting U.S. troops by bringing them safely home;
  • protecting labor, civil and immigrant rights and civil liberties; and
  • solidarity with workers around the world struggling for labor and human rights, and those in the U.S. who support U.S. foreign and domestic policies that "reflect our nation's highest ideals."
The union resolved to work with all religious, community, political and foreign policy groups (such as USLAW) that are committed to a set of principles delineated by SEIU President Andy Stern in a letter to President Bush in January 2003, which include: war as a last option, not first resort; peaceful multilateral solutions to international disputes; a foreign policy that prioritizes improving the lives of people around the world; and protecting at home those rights and freedoms the administration claims it seeks for people abroad.

The resolution was adopted without dissent after a half dozen or more local union leaders rose to passionately advocate its passage. The resolution had been submitted by the SEIU International Executive Board for convention action based on resolutions submitted by Locals 49, 250, 535, 615, 715, 790, 1199NE, 1199P, and 1199NW.

The full text of the resolution is available on the USLAW website at
http://uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=5382




SEIU Convention Calls for End to U.S. Occupation of Iraq and Return of U.S. Troops

Nation's largest union adopts tough antiwar stand without dissent.


June 22nd, 2004

Opposition To Current US Iraq Policy

Our nation faces growing domestic challenges - unemployment, declining wages and benefits, deunionization of the workforce, reduced public services, crumbling health care and educational systems, cuts in veterans benefits, escalating public debt, and decreased economic, social and personal security. Massive military spending, combined with tax cuts for the rich, is creating massive federal deficits and huge cuts in state public services. This crisis is a product of the Bush Administration's policies (backed by a majority in Congress) of military intervention abroad and attacks on working peoples' rights at home. Only corporations and the wealthy have benefited.

We cannot solve these economic and social problems without addressing U.S. foreign policy and its consequences.

Last January, 2003, with the approval of the International Union Executive Board, International Union President Andrew L. Stern sent a letter to President George Bush expressing our concerns and outlining the following four important principles:
  1. War involves enormous risks to our families and our communities and must be a last option, not the first.
  2. The goal of our foreign policy must be to promote a safer and more just world - promoting peaceful, multilateral solutions for disputes.
  3. U.S. foreign policy must give high priority to improving the lives of people around the world.
  4. The rights and freedoms our government says it is fighting for abroad must be protected at home.
President Stern's letter ended with these words: We urge you not to invade Iraq in violation of these principles and ask you to work with the Congress and the United Nations to set a course that will provide lasting security for all. That is the best way to honor those who died on September 11, who serve in our armed forces, and who work hard every day to make America work by providing the services our communities depend upon.

As recently confirmed by the 9/11 Commission, in violation of the above principles, and based on deception, lies and false promises to the American people and the World, the Bush Administration launched its unilateral, preemptive war against Iraq. The war in Iraq has resulted in the death of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of US soldiers. Already more of our soldiers, our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, have died in this war than any other war since Vietnam. And, this war is costing our nation's taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

Just as President Stern warned in our January, 2003 letter to President Bush, the foreign policy of the Bush administration has weakened rather than strengthened security in the U.S., creating enemies around the world and alienating long-time allies.

In October of 2003 nearly 200 delegates representing over 100 labor organizations, including SEIU Locals representing nearly 400,000 SEIU members, created a permanent coalition called U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) to encourage and promote debate within the labor movement on the critical questions of war and peace facing our nation; to work to address the impact that US foreign policy has on workers, their jobs, their rights and liberties, their families, unions and communities; and to promote the extension of labor rights to workers in Iraq now.

Therefore be it resolved:

That SEIU supports the principles in the Mission Statement adopted at the National Labor Assembly of US Labor Against The War (USLAW), October 25, 2003, namely:
  • A Just Foreign Policy based on International law and global justice that promotes genuine security and prosperity at home and abroad;
  • An end to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq;
  • The Redirecting of the Nation's Resources from inflated military spending to meeting the needs of working families for health care, education, a clean environment, housing and a decent standard of living;
  • Supporting Our Troops and their families by bringing our troops home safely, by not recklessly putting them in harms way, by providing adequate veterans' benefits and promoting domestic policies that prioritize the needs of working people who make up the bulk of the military;
  • Protecting Workers Rights, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and the Rights of Immigrants by promoting democracy, not subverting it; and
  • Solidarity with workers around the world who are struggling for their own labor and human rights, and with those in the U.S. who want US foreign and domestic policies to reflect our nation's highest ideals.
Be It Further Resolved:

That SEIU will work with all religious, community, political, and foreign policy groups (such as USLAW) who support the principles outlined in the January 2004 letter to President Bush and further elaborated in this resolution.

Submitted by: International Executive Board Referred to: Resolutions Committee
[adopted unanimously by convention action on June 22, 2004]






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