UFCW Local 1776 Passes Resolution Opposing War With Iraq

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In a strongly worded statement, the Executive Board of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 today unanimously passed a resolution opposing a war with Iraq and called for non-violent action to stop the Bush Administration's efforts to generate public support for a war.

Wendell W. Young, III, the President of UFCW Local 1776, a union based in Plymouth Meeting, PA, said the resolution passed by his union demonstrated a resolve to seek peaceful solutions to foreign conflict and a call for the Bush Administration to spend more time and resources on domestic issues that directly impact working families.

"We cannot allow President Bush to ignore the serious issues we face here at home in the areas of health care, education, pension and other working family issues just so he can pursue a misguided foreign policy whose only beneficiaries will be an elite handful of industrialists in the oil and military manufacturing businesses," said Young. "President Bush's war with Iraq violates international law and is also opposed by a wide range of American organizations and thousands of ordinary working citizens of our Nation."

Young noted that his union's resolution parallels similar opposition by the World Council of Churches, the U.S. Council of Bishops, Synods of Rabbis and many Islamic and Buddhist leadership councils as well as the national AFL- CIO. Young also noted that many in Congress, including Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah, voted against Bush's war resolution.

"President Bush did not take such a militant stance against the corporate crooks of Enron and WorldCom and all the other financial terrorists who have systematically pillaged our economy and yet he is very willing to commit billions of our tax dollars and many thousands of our sons and daughters to a war to protect oil interests," said Young. "That is morally wrong and we need to speak out about it and make our voices heard."

While opposing a war with Iraq, the UFCW Local 1776 resolution makes a clear distinction between the policy of the Administration and the union's support for the men and women of our armed forces.

"Our Union is opposed to a war with Iraq which will put our sons and daughters in harm's way," said Young. "However, that does not mean that we don't support our armed forces. We are fully in support of the members of our military forces. These are precisely the people we are trying to make sure are not sacrificed for the Bush Administration's misguided foreign policy goals."

UFCW Local 1776 represents 23,000 workers in the retail food, food processing and manufacturing, health care and service industries in Pennsylvania.

Resolution Opposing a War Against Iraq
United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1776 

Whereas the mission of the labor movement is to struggle for justice among working people and to advocate negotiation aimed at improving the quality of life for the general public; 

Whereas President George W. Bush's haste in insisting upon preparing for war has contravened the principle of adequately negotiating for peaceful outcomes with Iraq through United Nations, and 

Whereas, President Bush has also chosen war over the social responsibilities of inspiring investment and social programs that create decent job opportunities, as well as health care, education, pension and 
other benefits for workers and their families to live a better life; 

Whereas, indeed, President Bush has escalated a campaign whose implications would result in death, permanent injury, physical and psychological illness and a fragmenting of families and communities 
throughout all of the world powers that would be drawn into an armed conflagration; 

Whereas, the elite handful of industrialists in oil production and military-related manufacturing that would benefit by a war represent motivation that is based in corporate greed of a few very wealthy people and not in initiatives to improve democracy, to establish antidotes to world hunger, brutal working conditions or violence; 

Whereas, the World Council of Churches, the United States Council of Bishops, Synods of Rabbis and many Islamic and Buddhist leadership councils have renounced the Bush petition for war as morally and ethically unfounded and unjustified; 

Whereas, in addition, such a war would be a violation of International law; and 

Whereas, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has noted that "the sudden 

urgency for a decision about war and peace, an urgency that did not exist a month ago, has as much to do with the political calendar as with the situation in Iraq"; and 

Whereas, Philadelphia Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah voted against the Bush resolution on Iraq; and 

Whereas the Bush administration's sensationalizing and distorting the reasons to rush into war are also a distraction from issues of equity for workers and their families, decent living standards such as affordable 
medical coverage and job training; 

Whereas, the Bush administration failed to take such a militant stand with regard to the prosecution and proscribing of the corporate crooks of Enron, WorldCom and other financial terrorists who have raided the moneys of good-faith workers, investors and their families; 

Whereas, a war with Iraq would drain the U.S. Treasury of many billions of dollars desperately needed by communities that are struggling for better standards of living; 

Therefore be it resolved that the U.F.C.W. Local 1776 goes on record as strenuously opposing the Bush administration's march toward war with Iraq; 

Therefore be it resolved that the U.F.C.W. Local 1776 supports the men and women in our armed forces even though we are opposed to President Bush's decision to go to war; and 

Therefore be it resolved that the U.F.C.W. Local 1776 urges its members and affiliates to support organizations working nonviolently to stop the Bush Administration's march toward war against Iraq.