Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

(Poster calling for May 1st marches/rallies, from here)

From U.S. Labor Against the War/April 29th, 2009.

May Day Greetings to the Workers and Labor Movement of Iraq

Sisters and Brothers in the Struggle for a Better World:

On behalf of the 187 labor organizations affiliated with U.S. Labor Against the War and the millions of union members they represent, we extend our warmest fraternal May Day greeting. We are proud to stand with you in a common struggle for peace, social justice, dignity and human rights for all people.

On a day in which the working people of the world celebrate their struggles for dignity, fair treatment, jobs at decent wages, and justice at work, we must take note that for most Iraqi workers these fundamental rights remain out of reach. Such basic needs as clean water, reliable electricity, decent housing, jobs, healthcare and education are still unmet. For a growing number of workers in our own country, these basic rights also can no longer be taken for granted.

We also recognize, that for the working people of both our countries, no serious progress toward meeting these needs can be made so long was billions of dollars are squandered on militarism, war and an occupation that makes impossible the restoration of real sovereignty to the people of Iraq while it continues to destroy lives and the livelihoods of the working people of both our countries.

Last November, the American people voted overwhelmingly for peace and for an end to military occupation and conquest. President Obama campaigned on a promise to end the military occupation of Iraq. We intend to hold him to that promise. On this day dedicated to the struggles and accomplishments of the international working class, we recommit ourselves to end the occupation of your country. The funds now spent on bases, weapons and troops should be used to rebuild Iraq under the direction and control of the Iraqi people, and to meet the basic needs of working people of both our countries.

We also share a common struggle for basic labor rights. We know that no real democracy can exist where workers are not free to organize, bargain and strike when necessary in defense of their interests. We support your demand that the Iraqi government speedily adopt a basic labor law that complies with international standards, including the right to freely organize and join unions of the worker's choice, free of all government interference.

And we shall continue to support your struggle to prevent privatization of Iraq’s basic resources, foremost its oil and gas, and its essential public services and industries. No decisions regarding the long term development of Iraq's energy industry should be made until full sovereignty and self-determination for the Iraqi people have been restored.

We salute your courage and your resistance to injustice. Your movement is an inspiration to us and to working people all around the world.

Long live the Iraqi labor movement!

The Officers and Steering Committee of
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

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