(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Look around you, what can one say, except possibly going further into lower wages, at least they wouldn’t be stagnant as they have been for most for these past years.
And workers having a Voice, C’mon!!!
And where did this take place, wellll…. in Iraq, of all places:
People’s Weekly World Newspaper, 03/17/09
At the first International Labor Conference ever held in Iraq, three of the country’s major labor organizations announced the formation of a new labor confederation.
At the close of the two day meeting of Iraqi unions with their international allies, Iraq’s powerful Federation of Oil Unions, the nationwide Electricity Association and the General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions signed an agreement to create a new labor confederation, a step toward unifying the Iraqi labor movement as an advocate for the interests of Iraqi workers.
The conference, held on March 13-14 in Erbil in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, drew more than 200 delegates from unions and federations across Iraq and solidarity delegations from the U.S., the United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan, Australia, and Iran.
More than a year in the making, the conference drew representatives from Iraq’s oil and gas industry, its port union, the electrical generation and distribution industry, construction, public sector, transportation, communications, education, rail roads, service and health care industries, machinists and metal working sector, the petro-chemical industry, civil engineers, writers and journalists, food oil workers, tailors and students. Workers attended from fifteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces.
U.S. Labor Against The War did post up an announcement to this gathering of Iraqi workers:
It’s in PDF form and you can read it in full here.
As it starts out with this:
To: The First International Labour Conference in Erbil, Iraq, March 13-14, 2009
From: The 186 organizations affiliated with U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
We send you our greetings and solidarity on the momentous occasion of the First International Labour Conference in Iraq.
This historic gathering of Iraqi unions and labour federations with your international allies marks an important step toward full
restoration of the inalienable rights of Iraq’s workers to organize and bargain collectively in defense of the their interests in
unions of their own choosing, free of government interference, influence or control.
These rights are enshrined in the internationally recognized core conventions on the rights of workers adopted by the
International Labour Organization of the United Nations. These rights apply to all workers, in both public and private
These rights are promised by the new Iraqi Constitution.
Oh and in case you were wondering, there were U.S. Labor representatives at the conference:
The U.S. delegation of six was organized by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), a network of 186 local, regional, state and national labor organizations that together represent more than five million union members. It included USLAW National Organizer Michael Eisenscher; USLAW Steering Committee Member Michael Zweig (a leader of United University Professions/AFT Local 2190); Bill Shortell, President of the Central Connecticut Labor Council; Jim Norris, President of United Steel Workers Local 675, representing oil industry workers in Southern California; and two members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, T.J. Buonomo from Philadelphia, and Aaron Hughes of Chicago.
This country, the U.S., has to rebuild the Labor Movement with stronger unions, not repeating the mistakes of the past, the workers of this country is what built it, and as we’ve been watching the money changers are the ones who have destroyed it.
Who’s more equipped to rebuild the Labor Unions and Labor Rights, those who’ve are already known to be dedicated servers of the country and have now, many of them, served multiple tours in not one but two major long running conflicts and occupations. These Veterans have faced the adversity that the greater majority will never face, as that majority wasn’t even asked to sacrifice. They’ve been tested beyond what most would be, they understand what working together can bring in results. They need now become our new leaders to rebuild this country, we have a long way to go to even get back to where we were.
This countries majority are mind and hand workers, not paper pushers, always have been. Some of these disciplined Veterans will, and should, get the knowledge needed to start and run new companies, others will get their knowledge, or use the already known and enhancing that, helping to build these new companies, but all must work together and share the success of these companies, for them, for their families, and for the country!
We must have new companies under the banner of defense contractors, the old are to well embedded and do what they please with little condemnation. We must get some of our manufacturing back, we’ve already lost way to many trades and a whole hell of a lot of experience, we can’t have a Strong National Defense when we depend on others to manufacture our needs, especially in a National Disaster should one prevail. Just look around, where do those who’ve been laid off go, into the commercial or service sectors, if no ones buying there’s no need for more workers at low wages, the stores and services are laying off as well.
If the Fat Cats don’t want to give up their obscene compensations and perks, than the workers have to become as one and fight for what’s right.
Telling auto workers they have to give back wages and benefits, again, to save their jobs, which is questionable to say the least, while executives receive ‘multi- million dollar bonuses’ on top of multi-million dollar wages and perks, is beyond obscene.
Blaming worker wages for being excess and causing the problems in cost and returns on investments is a fantasy fairytale that must end, if there’s so much wealth to distribute to the top tier’s than that’s where the problem is. It isn’t only in compensation it’s also in what these companies spend to keep those they call the cream of the crop to stay, success or failure, and write off or hide from the tax payers.
And one way to do what is responsible, our responsibility, is to work with these Iraqi’s, after the destruction we wrought on their country for no reason!!!!