Dear Sisters and Brothers:
As you may know, last October two U.S. trade
unionists -- Clarence Thomas and David Bacon -- represented USLAW on an
international labor fact-finding trip to Iraq. While in Iraq, they met with and
were taken to factories, workplaces and union halls by representatives from the
two main union federations that have formed during the past year: the Iraqi
Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) and the Federation of Workers' Councils and
Unions of Iraq (FWCUI).
Through these two union bodies, we learned, for example, that:
USLAW is in the process of organizing a U.S. labor delegation of elected
leaders to Iraq this coming May. We want to learn more about the labor situation
on the ground in Iraq and to organize report-backs from this delegation across
the United States to promote our campaign for labor rights in Iraq and the "Dear
Colleague" letter (in support of Iraqi labor rights) issued by Congresspersons
Sam Farr, Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich. (http://www.progressiveportal.org/iraq-labor.html)
We further believe that these report backs will provide critical education for the labor movement during the election season about the failures of our government's policies in Iraq and ways in which the labor movement in the U.S. can advance labor rights in Iraq.
It is our intention to have this delegation bring $5,000 or more in donations to each of the two main trade union federations in Iraq that hosted our delegation in October and that have worked closely with USLAW since that time. We feel we cannot just show up again, empty-handed, requesting their help and their time -- when their material needs are so urgent.
Please contribute generously to this Iraqi Solidarity Fund. We need your help urgently.
Your donation will support the evolving democratic trade union movement in Iraq during this critical period in that country and bolster our joint campaign for full trade union rights in Iraq, for immediate nullification of the 1987 Hussein law banning unions in public enterprises and for repeal of any other restriction on the full exercise of labor rights. We believe that this work can have a genuine impact on the future of events in Iraq and we urge you to support it.
Thanks for your attention,
Gene Bruskin Co-Convenor US Labor Against the War