Chicago, IL - In the past week, unions representing over 135,000 workers have endorsed the protest march on the NATO summit in Chicago, May 20.
The unions include the Chicago Teachers Union, with 30,000 members; Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Locals 73 (25,000 members) and Health Care Illinois/Indiana (80,000 members); and the United Electrical workers Western Region, a smaller union but very important. This is the union that includes the workers who famously occupied Republic Windows and Doors in 2008 and the same factory, now called Serious Materials, in February of this year.
Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board member of SEIU Local 73, moved the resolution to endorse in an executive board meeting. He proposed that they unite behind the main slogan of the march, “Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment: Not War.” President Christine Boardman spoke in favor, saying, “This is a very important march and I want to see a big contingent of our members out there.”
Sarah Chambers, Executive Board member of the Chicago Teachers Union, introduced the motion to their House of Delegations.
Commenting on the Local 73 endorsement Iosbaker said, “I’ll be proud to see my union brothers and sisters marching against the NATO/G8 agenda of war on the poor in the interest of the rich.” Local 73 was an early supporter of Iosbaker and 23 other activists who are being attacked by the FBI and Department of Justice for their anti-war and international solidarity efforts.
The text of the resolution against the 2012 NATO Summit adopted by Chicago Teachers Union follows:
“Whereas, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exists for the purpose of making war against nations and groups that the 1% deems at odds with its interests, and has been directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and
Whereas, public sector employees, reeling from reduced state and federal revenues due to economic contraction, war and tax cuts for the wealthy, have been especially hard hit; and
Whereas, NATO as a vestige of the cold war, continues to fight unjust wars throughout the world even though the cold war has ended; and
Whereas, military budgets and expenditures have taken money from education, social services, healthcare and other needed programs causing hardship to the American people and causing a loss of jobs;
Whereas, people should be put before profit; money should go to jobs, education, pension, healthcare, housing and the environment, not war;
Therefore Be It Resolved, that this body goes on record as expressing its opposition to the NATO summit being held in Chicago May 2012; and
Further Be It Resolved, that we call on our members to mobilize and join the planned permitted march to be held on May 20th 2012; and
Be it Finally Resolved, that CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) submit a workshop proposal to the People’s Summit on May 12th-May 13th to education people on our vision and to unite with organizations and individuals who dissent from the global vision of NATO.”