Labor activists stand up for independent politics

If you are a labor activist who would like to sign this statement, please contact us.

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Working Americans and organized labor face an unprecedented bipartisan attack by the Democrats and Republicans in this November’s elections.

As long-time labor activists, we urge a vote for the Green Party national ticket of Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala.

The cornerstone of Jill Stein's Presidential campaign is a Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal includes strong support for workers’ rights, including the rights to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal. It supports real financial reform, not only to make the rich and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes, but to establish democratic control of our economy rather than leaving Wall Street in the driver's seat.

For more than three decades, there has been bipartisan agreement to shift more income and wealth to the richest Americans, while living standards for the rest of us have declined. Income inequality has reached levels not seen since 1927 – right before the Great Depression. The economic crisis caused by the greed and misdeeds of Wall Street resulted in a trillion-dollar bailout of bankers, while the housing foreclosure crisis was ignored.

With more than 25 million Americans out of work, the response of politicians at the state, local and national level has been to cut spending for education, housing, and the safety net, threatening cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to protect tax cuts for the rich and wasteful military spending. Democrats like Governor Cuomo in NY have joined with Republicans like Governor Walker in Wisconsin to make public employee unions into public enemy number one, seeking to slash pensions and wages while laying off teachers and other workers.

Democrats are always the “friend” of labor – during election season. Yet it was Bill Clinton who gave us NAFTA. The Southern wing of the Democrats in 1947 gave us the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act – and they have defeated changes to it ever since.

Barack Obama promised a $10/hour minimum wage and the Employee Free Choice Act for majority card-check union recognition –  but failed to push either once elected.

The labor movement in every other industrial nation has built its own political party, independent of corporate money and control. They have organized the working class majority to take political power  for the benefit of workers and economic justice. They have secured single-payer health care, affordable public transit, free public college education, secure pensions, four to six weeks of paid vacation for all workers, paid maternity and free sick leave, and labor laws that protect their rights to organize and strike.

It is time for labor to practice the politics of courage, rather than the politics of fear and appeasement.  We must support candidates who back labor when they run against the two corporate parties.  We urge a vote for Jill Stein and the Green New Deal and Economic Bill of Rights this November.

Yours in Solidarity,

Jim Moran, Director (retired), Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health

Justin Harrison, CWA Local 13000 Unit 1 President

Christopher Fons, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association Milwaukee, WI

Allan Herman, IATSE Local 927 Executive Board member

Steve Edwards, President, AFSCME Local 2858 Chicago IL

David Austin, Evesham Township Education Association, NJEA

Tom Crean, chapter leader, United Federation of Teachers, New York City

Marty Harrison, Executive Board member TUHNA/PASNAP (Temple University Hospital Nurses Association/ Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals)

David Myron, Michigan Education Association (MEA/NEA); Former Local President, Perry Education Association

Mike McCallister, National Writers Union Local 1981, Former Chair, South Central Wisconsin Labor Party

Charlie Hoyt, Labor Activist, New York City

Hugh Giordano, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152 Mays Landing, New Jersey

Sunyata Altenor, CWA Local 1032 New York City

Marsha Niemeijer, CWA Local 1032 New York City

Paul Grubb, Labor Union Representative, District 1199C AFSCME Philadephia, PA

David Williams Chicago Library Employees 1215 Chicago, IL

Tom Neilson, American Fed. of Musicians Local 1000, SEIU Local 509 Watertown, MA

Tim Pagel, Teamsters Local 988 Houston Texas

Charles Post, Professional Staff Caucus New York City

Warren Davis, American Federation of Government Employees Local 2006 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (retired)

Eric Hoyt, Graduate Employees Organization, Amherst, Massachussetts

Karen Young, Newspaper Guild, CWA Local 3 New York City

Frank Jackson, GEO-UAW 2334 Amherst, MA

Howie Hawkins, Teamsters Local 317 Syracuse, New York

Barry Eidlin, United Faculty and Academic Staff, Madison WI

Marie Stolzenburg, Teaching Assistants Association, AFT Madison, WI

Nick Limbeck, Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago, IL

Irwin Nack, AFT Local 1796 Oakland, NJ

Jim Howe, CWA Local 3108 Orlando, FL

Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network, New York City

Alex Kantrowitz, Teamsters Local 700 Chicago, IL

Ron Dicks, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, San Francisco, CA

Ashok Kumar, Labor Activist, Former member Dane County Board, Madison, WI

Brian Rothgery, Labor Activist, Milwaukee, WI

Michael Childers, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, AFT 223 Milwaukee WI

Patrick Burke, Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, Springfield, MA

Charles Levenstein, Massachusetts Teachers Association (retired)

Isaac Silver, Labor Activist, Chicago, IL

Jonathan Fluck, Actors' Equity Association, New York City

Danielle Albert, Labor Activist, New York City

Chris Robinson, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 Philadelphia, PA

Trudy Quaif, Public Employees Federation steward (retired), Albany, NY

George McAnanama, Transport Workers Union Local 100 (retired) New York City

Jonathon Flanders, International Association of Machinists, LL 1145 Troy, NY

Neal Pritchard, United Steel Workers Local 1000, Corning NY

John Ailey, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), IL

Mike Whalen, UNITE-HERE, Local 17 (retired) St Paul, Minnesota

Gordon McClelland, Labor Educator, Carpenters (retired), Guilderland NY

Francesca Gomes, Delegate, United Federation of Teachers, Brooklyn, NY

Genevieve Morse, Shop Steward CSU, Massachusetts Teachers Association,
National Education Association

Kshama Sawant, American Federation of Teachers Local 1789, Seattle, WA

Sarah & Ben Manski, American Federation of Teachers, Madison, Wisconsin

Seamus Whelan, MNA/NNU Massachusetts Nurses Association/ National Nurses United

Frango Akrivos, Teamsters Local 1L New York City

Greg Beiter, Shop Steward, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587

 

*Organizations are listed for identification purposes only.

 

For further reading:

Labor Day message: Winning labor's battles requires independent politics, 9/2/2012

Workers deserve a raise, not anti-labor legislation, 1/11/2012

Stein calls Obama "win-win" Colombia trade agreement a "lose-lose" for workers, 4/16/2012

Stein backs worker power on Indiana, Ohio tour, 2/3/2012

Solidarity with Indiana workers, 2/6/2012

Gainesville Sun: Hundreds join in May Day rally, march, 5/1/2012

Statement on International Migrants Day, 12/19/2011

The Green New Deal

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