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Click HERE for Delegate Assembly Resolution Opposing Expansion Of Us Military Campaigns in a Permanent and Unconditional "War on Terror"

click image for slide show & photo gallery of PSC at the rally

PSC Marches in 2/15 Anti War Rally

More than 500 PSC members joined several hundred thousand in NYC (and millions more in 600 cities around the world) on Saturday, February 15th.  The PSC marched again on Saturday, March 22nd


100 trade unionists from 76 local, regional and national unions, central labor councils and other labor organizations representing over 2 million members established "U.S. Labor Against the War."  After a month of discussion in the chapters, the PSC D.A.  endorsed the USLAW statement.

Click HERE for more info.


WHEREAS, we write as New Yorkers, as unionists and as people who have dedicated their professional lives to open discussion of complex questions; and 

WHEREAS, our location in New York means that we have felt and continue to feel the effects-ranging from minor dislocations to profound grief-of the murderous attacks of September 11th , and that we take seriously the danger of future attacks; and 

WHEREAS, the members of the Professional Staff Congress were among the many people who responded magnificently to the catastrophe and who suffered terrible loss that day: eight of our members died in the attack, as did numerous family members and friends, at least 30 of our students and 161 alumni of the City University of New York; and 

WHEREAS, President Bush, in his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address stated that "our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun," and Vice President Dick Cheney has said it is possible that the war might be expanded to "forty or fifty other countries," possibly lasting "fifty years or more"; and 

WHEREAS, President Bush, speaking in Germany on May 23, 2002, called the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein "a threat to all civilization" and appealed to German legislators for help "in waging a wider war on terrorism," (The New York Times, 5/23/02); and 

WHEREAS, with military spending already accounting for nearly one-fifth of the total federal budget and over half of all Congressional discretionary spending, President Bush's proposed military budget of $396 billion, coupled with current tax policy, will create austerity for working people and disinvestment in education, health care, environmental safety and other human needs; and 

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has sharply limited civil liberties and access to information since September 11th: Freedom of Information Act policies have been revised to restrict access for journalists, scholars and others; Congress passed the USA-PATRIOT Act, which permits breakage and entry without court orders, expansion of wiretaps, imprisonment of suspected terrorists without trial, and secret military tribunals; and 

WHEREAS, public discussion in the United States of the way to create domestic security has been narrowly focused on war, neglecting issues that contribute to domestic insecurity such as US foreign policy, the consequences of globalization, inequities in the distribution of wealth, and others; and 

WHEREAS, modern weapons mean that heavy loss of civilian life is now an intrinsic part of war, not an accidental consequence: according to the United Nations Conference on Children, 90% of war casualties are now civilian, as opposed to 5% during World War I; and 

WHEREAS, we as a union have engaged in a two-month period of discussion on the position the PSC should take on the current military policy of the US government, using chapter meetings, the Delegate Assembly, chapter newsletters, the union newspaper and the website to conduct a vigorous and democratic debate; and 

WHEREAS, members expressed many different points of view in the discussion, but consistently raised three themes: condemnation of the terrorist attacks, concern about security and the domestic consequences of war, and opposition to expansion of war; therefore 

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress reaffirm the resolutions it passed unanimously on September 20, 2001, which condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11th , extended sympathy to those grieving for people they loved, and offered solidarity with fellow workers in a time of mourning; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the unconditional expansion of military campaigns by the United States as a substitute for a strategy in response to September 11th that would genuinely protect collective security and individual freedom, in a manner consistent with our Constitutional principles; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress call for a broad public discussion of how to create real and lasting security that goes beyond war as the only solution, considering such issues as US foreign policy, the consequences of globalization, and inequities in the distribution of wealth; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the federal funding priorities that cannot be separated from a commitment to expanded war and permanent militarization: austerity for labor and disinvestment in education, health care, environmental safety and other human needs; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the curtailment of civil, human and immigrant rights and of academic freedom for both students and faculty that is also directly related to expansion of war and permanent militarization; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress continue the union discussion begun this spring on war and related issues at chapter and university-wide meetings during the 2002-03 academic year, for such a discussion will strengthen us as a union, deepening our practice of democracy and participating in the richest tradition of unionism; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Professional Staff Congress bring this or a similar resolution to the labor, academic and community groups with which it is affiliated, calling on them to take the lead in proposing an agenda that frees all people from terror and promotes peace through justice.  

[NOTE:  Two months of debate preceded this resolution.  Discussion took place at the chapters, in the pages of the May Clarion and on this Website.  Click here for materials provided on this Website to promote debate.]

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U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WARBanner Reading Labor Against The War

‘We Establish U.S. Labor Against the War’

USLAW  Resolution

Whereas over 100 trade unionists from 76 local, regional and national unions, central labor councils and other labor organizations representing over 2 million members gathered in Chicago for an unprecedented meeting to discuss our concerns about the Bush administration’s threat of war; and

Whereas union members and leaders have the responsibility to inform all working people about issues that affect their lives, jobs and families, and to be heard in the national debate on these issues; and

Whereas the principal victims of any military action in Iraq will be the sons and daughters of working class families serving in the military who will be put in harm’s way, and innocent Iraqi civilians who have already suffered so much; and

Whereas we have no quarrel with the ordinary working class men, women and children of Iraq, or any other country; and

Whereas the billions of dollars spent to stage and execute this war are being taken away from our schools, hospitals, housing and Social Security; and

Whereas the war is a pretext for attacks on labor, civil, immigrant and human rights at home; and

Whereas Bush’s drive for war serves as a cover and distraction for the sinking economy, corporate corruption and layoffs; and

Whereas such military action is predicted actually to increase the likelihood of retaliatory terrorist acts; and

Whereas there is no convincing link between Iraq and Al Qaeda or the attacks on Sept. 11, and neither the Bush administration nor the UN inspections have demonstrated that Iraq poses a real threat to Americans; and

Whereas U.S. military action against Iraq threatens the peaceful resolution of disputes among states, jeopardizing the safety and security of the entire world, including Americans; and

Whereas labor has had an historic role in fighting for justice; therefore

We hereby establish the “U.S. Labor Against the War’ (USLAW)”; and

Resolve that U.S. Labor Against the War stands firmly against Bush’s war drive; and

Further resolve that U.S. Labor Against the War will publicize this statement, and promote union, labor and community antiwar activity.

After a month of discussion in the chapters, the PSC-DA overwhelmingly endorsed  the resolution (in the adjoining column) at its February 27th meeting.  

Below are links to two articles providing more information about USLAW

At its June 19, 2003 meeting, the PSC Delegate Assembly passed two follow-up resolutions, one establishing a special committee to work on anti-war issues and a second supporting a City Council resolution protecting civil liberties and opposing the U.S. Patriot Act.  Click here for text of the resolutions.

Click here for list of labor unions, federations and councils that have passed anti-war resolutions.

Heads of British and American Labor Movements Send Joint Letter to Blair and Bush on Iraq.

John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO -- representing 13 million American working men and women -- and John Monks, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress of Great Britain -- representing 7 million British working men and women -- sent a joint letter to President Bush and Prime Minister Blair today asking them to “take every possible step to achieve the legitimate ends of disarming Iraq without recourse to war.”  Click here for letter.

AFL-CIO Executive Council, by unanimous resolution (2/27/03), opposes war with Iraq at this timeClick here for AP news story.

 The  American Federation of Teachers, our parent affiliate,  took a different position.*


*The AFT Executive Council resolution on Iraq passed 40 to 5.  Barbara Bowen, President of the PSC, cast one of the five dissenting votes.  A press release by the AFT summed up the essence of the resolution  as follows.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Executive Council, in recognition of the security threat that Saddam Hussein’s regime poses to the world, voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution that supports United Nations, NATO and congressional resolutions calling for his government to disarm.

"AFT supports the U.N. resolution with the hope that war can be avoided, but with the sober recognition that military conflict may become unavoidable as a last resort," reads the AFT resolution. It expresses the AFT’s strong preference that "military action in Iraq be taken in concert with an international coalition of allies or the United Nations," but "recognizes that the United States may at times have to act unilaterally in defense of its national security"....


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