Open World Conference
In Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights
OWC CAMPAIGN UPDATES
San Francisco, October 26th (AP Photo Marcio Jose Sanchez)
* Stop the U.S. intervention in Venezuela!
* Stop all attempts at a coup d'etat, stop all attempts at subverting the will of the people!
* Only the peoples have the right to choose their destiny!
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 10, recently passed a resolution proposing a million worker march on Washington in 2004. Mid October has been chosen for the march with an exact date to be determined in the coming weeks. This mobilization is being proposed in response to the attacks upon working families in America and the millions of jobs lost during the Bush administration and with the complicity of Congress. The working class has not suffered such hardships since the Great Depression
Five workers at the Daewoo Orion de Mexico (DOMEX) maquiladora plant were fired from their jobs last fall after they tried to form an independent union to improve their wages and working conditions.
"We call for an end now to the U.S. occupation and for all military, political and economic authority to be transferred to the people of Iraq. . . . We call upon all public officials and candidates for office to oppose this war and the never-ending occupation and to support steps that can be taken immediately to end it. . . . It is time to acknowledge this tragic mistake and to hold to account Bush and those who prosecuted this disastrous war."
A bold international campaign has been launched at the initiative of U.S. Labor Against War, the ILC, and leading unionists representing trade unions and federations from more than 40 countries. It is a Campaign for Labor Rights in Iraq -- for the new administration in Iraq to abide by the 57 ILO Conventions ratified by previous Iraqi governments so that the Iraqi workers can build independent unions of their choice to defend their interests against the predatory U.S. corporations that have been awarded contracts to plunder the resources of the Iraqi nation and to super-exploit their workers.
The OWC Continuations Committee received a call from leading trade unionists in Brazil to convene a Western Hemisphere Workers Conference Against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The conference will take place on December 11, 2003 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. At the same time, the national AFL-CIO has just launched a nationwide campaign to STOP the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Part of this campaign includes the launch of a postcard ballot in which working people can register their VOTE NO on the FTAA. The cards will be delivered to the 34 trade ministers who will be meeting in Miami on Nov. 20-21, 2003.
Public-sector workers in Brazil waged a national strike against the government's proposed measure to reform the Pension System (Proposed Constitutional Amendment #40, or PEC 40). This proposal was submitted to the National Congress by the Lula government and by the State governors. The month before, tens of thousands of workers from across Brazil participated in the March on Brasilia, a national protest against the government's proposed pension reform.
The New York Times called it the most violent suppression of antiwar dissent during the Iraq war. When police opened fire on a peaceful anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland on April 7, many demonstrators and nine longshore workers were injured. Thirty demonstrators and a longshore union official were arrested in the unprovoked police attack. In a chilling measure that threatens both organized labor and civil liberties, the government has moved file charges against ILWU Local 10 business agent, Jack Heyman, and against 25 of the arrested protesters in the April 7th antiwar demonstration in the port of Oakland.
The OWC has received information from Hong Kong that two of the workers in Liaoyang (part of the Liaoyang Four) are now being charged with subversion and, if found guilty, could face execution. An emergency campaign is in the process of being launched. We urge you to take action in the name of your own union or organization.
Privatization of the railways, like other public services , is on the agenda throughout the world. The consequences of privatizing the railways have unfortunately been demonstrated in Great Britain with various rail disasters and other consequences. The world conference of railworkers against privatization of the railways was held in France in February 2003.
Report on the current situation of the ILWU contract struggle and why a national gathering of labor forces to defend unions against attacks like Taft-Hartley is more necessary than ever. In the current political environment, labor needs fight-back strategies such as education, media strategies and actions to fight against union-busting, privatization, contracting-out and the struggle to organize the millions of unorganized workers.
Update on the current struggle waged by a significant wing of the trade union movement in Mexico against "free trade" and privatization, and for labor rights for all. The first document contains major excerpts from the call issued by a broad coalition of unions and labor activists across Mexico for a Ninth National Convention Against the FTAA and For Labor Rights For All, held November 16, 2002, in the city of Oaxaca.
A regional Caribbean conference against deregulation, for the defense of workers rights and against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was held in December 2002, in Guadeloupe. The conference is being co-convened by the Union of Guadeloupe Workers (UGTG).
The ILC calls on all supporters of labor and democratic rights the world over to send letters of protest to the authorities in Togo to demand the immediate release of Claude Ameganvi - spokesperson of the Workers Party (PT) of Togo, and a leader of the International Liaison Committee in Africa.
Reports from the 9th conference in defense of ILO conventions and of trade union independence that took place on June 16th 2002. The conference occurred while the 90th yearly session of the ILO was being convened. Some 140 rank-and-file, shop stewards and trade-union leaders from 27 countries participated.
Support the national petition for "Amnesty for All Undocumented Immigrants and Full Labor Rights for All Workers," addressed to George Bush and the U.S. Congress, which calls on the U.S. government to grant an unconditional amnesty for all undocumented workers.
The International Committee to Save the Life of Mumia Abu-Jamal calls on working people and supporters of democratic rights the world over to mobilize to win freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal.