HOW IMPORTANT ARE EXPRESSIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR SOLIDARITY?
 
In response to a call from USLAW to the labor movement to send messages of support to the General Union of the Oil Sector in Iraq, David Campbell, Secretary-Treasurer of USW (formerly OCAW) Local 675 in El Segundo, CA, sent the following message to Faleh Abood Umarra, General Secretary of the Iraqi Oil Workers Union in Basrah. 

Never doubt that a few words of solidarity do any good.  Imagine yourself as an Iraqi trade unionist - living with daily uncertainty whether you will see your family tomorrow - struggling to earn enough to support your them in the face of shortages of basic necessity - living with no reliable electric power, sanitation, clean water, health care and other basic necessities - organizing despite lack of legal protection for your right to have a union and bargain - working each day to reconstruct an industry which is essential to Iraq's survival and represents the nation's wealth and natural heritage while fighting to prevent your workplace and job from being privatized and/or contracted out - working and living under conditions approaching civil war and always in the face of U.S. and British tanks, guns, checkpoints and missiles.  If you can imagine that, you can understand how powerful a few words of solidarity can be.
 
David Campbell <ocaw1675@igc.org> wrote:
 
Brothers, On behalf of the 2,200 oil workers in the port of Los Angeles, CA we send you greetings and we express our solidarity with your struggles undertaken on behalf of oil workers in Basrah and, indeed, on behalf of all workers in Iraq.  Many of the issues that workers face in Iraq, such as the contracting out of union members' jobs and privitization of state sector jobs, are the same issues that we face.  Additionally, our sons and daughters, like yours, are dying needlessly in this terrible war.  We pray for your victory in the negotiations and strike and we also pray for peace for both our nations. 

 
In Solidarity,
David W.  Campbell, Secretary-Treasurer
USW Local 675
 
Here is the response he got from Iraq:
 
From: faleh abood <falehabood@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 01:16:35
To:ocaw1675@igc.org
Subject: Re: Greetings
 
Dear Mr.  David,
 
I would like to convey the best greetings of the staff of the general union of oil sector , thank you very much for your kind feelings towards our people in Iraq and my country, it gives me pleasure to inform that we have gained a victory during the strike and we could gain our demands and we will continue of our struggle to preserve the health of Iraq.  The war destroyed every thing.  We feel pain very much when the American soldiers are being killed.  We know they are obliged to come to our country.  And again I say thank you for your solidarity, and let us work together for our nations. 
 
With my best regards, 
 
yours faithfully, Faleh Abood Umarra
Faleh Abood Umarra will be one of three Iraqi labor movement leaders who will attend the December 1-3 USLAW National Assembly and Labor Conference Against the Iraq War in Cleveland, Ohio.  Learn more about this important weekend of events and how to register to attend at www.uslaboragainstwar.org

Contributions are urgently needed to the USLAW Iraq Labor Solidarity Fund to help defray the thousands of dollars it will cost to bring these workers to the U.S.  In addition, our goal is to raise additional funds to provide concrete material support to Iraq's labor movement - to pay for electric generators, computers and other office equipment and furniture, to underwrite the expenses of organizing and bringing workers together to build their unions, to enable them to print flyers and publish newspapers.  Please help with a donation in whatever amount you can afford.

Make checks payable to the USLAW Iraq Labor Solidarity Fund and send your contribution to USLAW, 1718 M Street NW, #153, Washington, DC 20036.  You can also make your donation electronically at the website.  Click on the button at the top that says "Support USLAW."
 

 
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