LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, representing 360 unions and more than 800,000 members, unanimously passed a resolution against the Bush administration’s drive for war against Iraq, Jan. 27.

“Union members and leaders have the responsibility to inform all working people about the issues that affect our lives, jobs, and families, and to be heard in the national debate on these issues,” the resolution states.

“The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO stands firmly against the Bush Administration’s drive to war,” the resolution continues, agreeing “to promote and participate in actions opposing it.”

Taking issue with the Bush administration’s proposal to use billions of dollars “to stage and execute a war,” instead of using those funds to solve “the greatest economic crisis in recent memory,” the federation demanded that Bush “re-order national priorities” away from war spending, and use our nation’s resources “for jobs, education, health care, a clean environment, and social justice.”

The federation sharply criticizes the war drive as being used to eliminate rights for the people of our nation, calling Bush’s campaign against Iraq “a pretext for attacks on labor, civil, immigrant and human rights;” and “a cover and distraction for the sinking economy, ongoing corporate corruption and layoffs.”

LA Union, as the county federation is also called, further criticized the Bush Administration’s cuts for working families needs, “as it simultaneously plans even more giveaways and welfare for their rich supporters.”

The resolution commits the second largest federation in the nation to work to mobilize all of labor and its allies against the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act.

“The Bush administration and Congress’ U.S. Patriot Act serves to undermine labor’s right to organize and fight anti-immigrant attacks by expanding the government’s ability to detain non-citizens, to conduct telephone and internet surveillance, and to carry out secret searches,” the resolution states.

Los Angeles labor unions blasted Bush for “a renewed assault on organized labor which includes use of Taft-Hartley against dockworkers, excluding over 50,000 federal airport screeners’ right to organize, privatizing nearly 200,000 federal jobs covered by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and removing collective bargaining rights from these employees.”

The federation’s action follows a Los Angeles anti-war march and rally of 20,000, Jan. 11, the largest peace demonstration here since the war in Viet Nam. A huge contingent of unionists from Service Employees International Union Local 660, representing over 50,000 county workers, stood out as members carried a banner saying, “health care not warfare!”

The author can be reached at evnalarcon@aol.com

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