NEW YORK— A unique plus of the April 29 March for Peace, Justice and Democracy here will be the union contingents.

“We’re pulling together labor contingents from a number of the big unions as well as the little locals here and there,” said Tom Gogan, an organizer with U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), one of the march’s initiators. “We were just in Long Island for instance, and we may get a motorcycle contingent from one of the IBEW locals.”

USLAW says the labor movement has an interest in uniting with peace and other forces. Many of the more than 20,000 fallen or maimed U.S. soldiers are workers or unionists’ family members, they argue, and they are also concerned about the inhumanity of 100,000-plus Iraqis killed. Plus, USLAW says, millions of tax dollars are funneled to corporate America and war profiteering, instead of needs at home like health care. The ongoing quagmire created by the Bush administration’s foreign policy is making the U.S. less secure, they say.

The war “has served as a smokescreen for a corporate assault on working people and our unions” with “pensions canceled, jobs outsourced and privatized, plants shuttered, working conditions eroded, immigrants scapegoated, and the social safety net we fought so long to create in tatters,” and has led to “tax breaks for the rich, subsidies for corporations, and the shaft for the rest of us,” a USLAW statement says.

Dozens of unions have signed on to support and mobilize for the march and rally. The list includes the Communications Workers of America, dozens of locals and district councils across the country, and AFL-CIO state federations in Pennsylvania, Washington and Vermont.

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