Weekly Update:  Volume 3, #37
                                                            Wednesday, September 12, 2001


“…I also want us to think about, not only the victims and their families who have passed away this morning, I want us to think about the people who are on the scene right now – firefighters, EMT personnel, law enforcement officials, people covering the news, the teachers who are going to have to talk to children this morning, our friends… 

“Those of us who are connected in unions and religious organizations, we know that when something happens it becomes very personal, because we think of our colleagues and our friends who we’ve shared bread, meals and drinks with, and our homes... 

“This is going to be a time when there will be a lot of blame.  There are going to be a lot of people who are going to be blamed for this, who may not have anything to do with it, because of their nationality, their origin, their color, their speech and their religion.  And you see, one of the gifts that we have as connected, ecumenical bodies, whether we’re union or church, is that we have an ability to transcend so many of the differences that people will use to divide us.  We will come together across our vocations, across our religion, and our color, and our language, and our educational or economic gaps, to stand as people united. And clearly right now we need to be united in empathy, but we also need to be united in the symbol that we as people in this country will be fair and just through some of the darkest and some of the most trying times of our lives.  And, I would say today that’s what the AFL-CIO has to offer…  

“How we respond to this tragedy will speak volumes about our country and all of us as Americans.” 

--David Leslie, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Delivering the invocation on the second day of the 46th Oregon AFL-CIO Convention
September 11, 2001

In Sadness and Solidarity…As we mourn the victims of yesterday’s terrorism, and direct our thoughts and prayers to their families and loved ones, we realize that most of the victims were workers killed on the job – from the flight attendants and pilots on the ill-fated planes, to the office workers, construction workers, janitors and restaurant workers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to the firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel who valiantly gave their lives to save the lives of others.     

The AFL-CIO is working with the Union Community Fund, labor’s charity, to assist with the relief efforts in New York City and Washington, D. C.  If you wish to contribute to the relief effort through the labor movement, you may do so by check (designated for the September 11th Relief Fund) to the Union Community Fund, 815 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006.

Or you may contribute online via the Fund’s web page at www.unioncommunityfund.org.  All contributions are tax deductible and will go to non-profit organizations engaged in the relief efforts. 

“This is the way to express our solidarity with devastated working families and to let these communities know that the labor movement from all over the country can be counted on in this time of need,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.  “We are redefining Charity as Solidarity.”