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New York City Labor Statement on September 11
September 27, 2001
September 11 has brought indescribable suffering to New York City’s working people. We have lost friends, family members and coworkers of all colors, nationalities and religions—a thousand of them union members. An estimated 100,000 New Yorkers will lose their jobs.
We condemn this crime against humanity and mourn those who perished. We are proud of the rescuers and the outpouring of labor support for victims’ families. We want justice for the dead and safety for the living.
And we believe that George Bush’s war is not the answer.
No one should suffer what we experienced on September 11. Yet war will inevitably harm countless innocent civilians, strengthen American alliances with brutal dictatorships and deepen global poverty—just as the United States and its allies have already inflicted widespread suffering on innocent people in such places as Iraq, Sudan, Israel and the Occupied Territories, the former Yugoslavia and Latin America.
It is wrong to punish any nation or people for the crimes of individuals—peace requires global social and economic justice.
War will also take a heavy toll on us. For Americans in uniform—the overwhelming number of whom are workers and people of color—it will be another Vietnam. It will generate further terror in this country against Arabs, Muslims, South Asians, people of color and immigrants, and erode our civil liberties. It will redirect billions to the military and corporate executives, while draining such essential domestic programs as education, health care and the social security trust.
War will play into the hands of religious fanatics—from Osama bin Laden to Jerry Falwell—and provoke further terrorism in major urban centers like New York.
Therefore, the undersigned New York City metro-area trade unionists believe a just and effective response to September 11 demands:
- NoWar. It is wrong to punish any nation or people for the crimes of individuals—peace requires global social and economic justice.
- Justice, Not Vengeance. An independent international tribunal to impartially investigate, apprehend and try those responsible for the September 11 attack.
- Opposition to Racism—Defense of Civil Liberties. Stop terror, racial profiling and legal restrictions against people of color and immigrants, and defend democratic rights.
- Aid for the Needy, Not the Greedy. Government aid for the victims’ families and displaced workers—not the wealthy. Rebuild New York City with union labor, union pay, and with special concern for new threats to worker health and safety.
Signers (all affiliations and titles listed for identification only):
Larry Adams, President, NPMHU Local 300
Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress-CUNY/AFT Local 2334
Arthur Cheliotes, President, CWA Local 1180
Michael Letwin, President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local2325
Brenda Stokely, President, AFSCME Local 215, DC 1707
Marilyn Albert, RN, SEIU Local 1199
Sylvia Aron, Rehab Committee Co-Chair, NYC CLC & Past President, AAUP, Adelphi Chapter
Stanley Aronowitz, University-Wide Officer & Executive Council, PSC-CUNY,AFT Local 2334
Daniel Ashworth, Delegate, ALAA/UAW Local 2325
Harold Bahr, III, Chair, GLTGC, ALAA/UAW Local 2325
Thomas Barton, Shop Steward, AFSCME Local 768, DC 37
Chris Butters, AFSCME Local 1070, DC 37
Hugh English, PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334
Samuel Farber, PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334
Pam Galpern, Shop Steward, CWA Local 1101
Gary Goff, Recording Sec'y, AFSCME Local 2627, DC 37
Bill Henning, Vice-President, CWA Local 1180
Lucy Herschel, Delegate, SEIU Local 1199, Legal Aid Chapter
Ed Hilbrich, SSA/SEIU Local 693
Carol Hochberg, Vice-President/JRD, ALAA/UAW Local 2325
Norman Hodgett, AFSCME Local 371, DC 37
David Kazanjian, PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334
Dian Killian, Organizer, Journalism Division, NWU/UAW Local 1981
Lisa Maya Knauer, GSOC/UAW Local 2110
Ray LaForest, Staff Representative, DC 1707, AFSCME
Jane Latour, Director, Women's Project, AUD; Managing Ed., Hardhat Magazine; NWU/UAW Local 1981
Julius Margolin, IATSE Local 52
Florence Morgan, ALAA/UAW 2325
Matt Noyes, Education Coordinator, AUD & NWU/UAW Local 1981
Tony O'Brien, Delegate, PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334
Paul Peloquin, Delegate, LSSA/UAW 2320
Andy Piascik, Program Coordinator, AUD & NWU/UAW Local 1981
Carol Pittman, Coordinator, Jobs With Justice/NYC Pride at Work, NY
Mike Quinn, High School Delegate, UFT
Jay Schaffner, Supervisor, National Contracts Dept,.AFM Local 802
Jose Schiffino, Organizer, UNITE! Local 169
Soo Kyung Nam, UAW Local 2320
Gibb Surette, Delegate, LSSA/UAW 2320
Sean Sweeney, Director, Cornell Labor Studies
Terry Taylor, IBEW Local 827, Black Telephone Workers For Justice
Miriam Thompson, PSC-CUNY, AFT Local 2334
Marilyn Vogt-Downey, UFT
Kit Wainer, UFT
Ron Washington, IBEW Local 827, Black Telephone Workers For Justice
Corinne Willinger, PEF
JoAnn Wypijenski, TNGNY/CWA