New Mexico AFL-CIO: Call for labor unity, bring the troops home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The biennial convention of the New Mexico Federation of Labor met here June 10-11. The 163 delegates began their full agenda with a greeting by Executive Director Daniel Rivera. Next followed a memorial in honor of recently deceased Los Angeles labor leader Miguel Contreras.

Many critical issues were addressed, ranging from opposition to CAFTA, world trade agreements, current immigration policies and privatization of Social Security, to support for labor unity. Rivera, New Mexico AFL-CIO Field Representative Don Manning, and President Christine Trujillo gave an overview of the restructuring taking place at the national level, and the possible impact on the state organization.

Bonnie Greathouse, lead organizer for New Mexico ACORN, described the petition campaign in Albuquerque to put the question of raising the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour on the ballot. In a narrow vote, the Albuquerque City Council recently decided not to allow the issue to go before voters in the fall.

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) was supportive of local efforts against Social Security privatization, but lukewarm and noncommittal on the subject of CAFTA, even after a challenge by Manning that he take a stand in opposition.

A total of 11 resolutions were adopted by the convention with virtually no dissent. Issues covered by the resolutions included: opposition to Wal-Mart anti-union practices, opposition to CAFTA, and support for renewable energy, living wage legislation, labor solidarity, immigrant workers, Social Security, solidarity with the AFT, boycott of the World Bank, and solidarity with public employees. Delegates also passed a resolution opposing the war in Iraq and calling for bringing the troops home.