National Clips

CLEVELAND, Ohio: Northeast Ohio demands no war with Iraq

Amid freezing cold and wind, 600 residents filled Public Square Dec. 21, 2002, protesting Pres. Bush’s threat of war on Iraq. Rally participants then marched to the Federal Building where they read the Pledge of Resistance.

Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Ohio) addressed the crowd. Both voted against Bush’s war. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was unable to attend but sent a message.

The Executive Secretary of the Cleveland AFL-CIO, John Ryan, announced that the Federation voted unanimously to oppose the war. “Our federation, representing 100,000 workers, stands with you in this struggle to prevent war,” he said.

African-American, Latino, Jewish, Muslim, student and peace group leaders spoke out for peace with Iraq.

To sign up for the Jan. 18 peace march in Washington, D.C., call the Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (216) 231-4245.





NEW YORK: One million Methodist women launch Mid-East peace campaign

As violence continues across the Middle East and the United States considers pre-emptive strikes against Iraq, the million-member United Methodist Women’s organization is taking up arms in prayer and organizing an April march in Washington, D.C.

At a December press conference, Methodist women announced a multi-faceted campaign including prayer chains, prayer vigils, days of prayer and many other activities to mobilize for the April March.

In October, Women’s Division directors adopted a statement opposing a U.S. unilateral strike against Iraq.

“The Women’s Division reaffirms its opposition to war as the instrument for resolving the continuing conflict with Iraq; presses for lifting the sanctions against Iraq; and urges all governments, most particularly the United States and the Security Council of the United Nations, to pursue peaceful means in resolving conflicts with Iraq,” the statement said.





PHILADELPHIA: Fifth largest U.S. city says ‘No war’

The City Council here passed a resolution urging its Congressmen, Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah, to continue their efforts to promote world peace. Philadelphia became the 23rd U.S. city to pass an anti-war resolution.

The resolution calls on Brady and Fattah to continue to urge Pres. Bush to exhaust all diplomatic avenues and work closely with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to avert a full scale war and seek a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi conflict.

The resolution noted that most of U.S. allies support a diplomatic solution in Iraq, that U.S. public opinion is divided, that many labor unions oppose an invasion of Iraq and that the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Study concluded that a war with Iraq could cost the U.S. $99 billion to $1.9 trillion resulting in dramatic reductions in domestic programs and services. The resolution also said that millions of people throughout the world are engaged in fighting wars against hunger, illiteracy, poverty and political oppression.

Councilman Angel Ortiz and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the peace resolution.





DETROIT, Mich.: Injury to one is an injury to all

Over 200 workers marched through downtown, Dec. 18, demanding that Atheneum Hotel reinstate seven African-American engineers laid-off for attempting to join the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). The hotel laid-off the engineers in October and replaced them with four white engineers from another hotel location. IUOE has filed unfair labor practice charges.

The Metropolitan AFL-CIO and Jobs with Justice organized the demonstration and hand billing where workers from seven other unions marched for justice for the new union members. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and City Council president Maryanne Mahaffrey linked arms with workers.

The Metro AFL-CIO is providing health care for the seven union engineers and delivered Christmas baskets for the families.

After the success of a multi-union organizing drive at area casinos where 8,500 workers joined the union, the Metro AFL-CIO established a joint organizing committee to raise the standard of living for workers in hotels and resorts.

To support the laid-off Atheneum engineers, call the hotel at (313) 962-2323 and demand reinstatement to their jobs.





CANTON, Ohio: City Council to PBGC: ‘Pay steel pensions’

The City Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) do its job and pay RTI steelworkers their pensions.

The PBGC, in an unprecedented action, seized the RTI pension plan in July, purposely denying steelworkers, with less than 30 years seniority, their pensions. The United Steel Workers of America (USWA) filed a lawsuit to regain the pensions.

Councilman John Mroczkowske, a former USWA officer, introduced the resolution and urged its passage. Councilman Auditor Perze, also a former steelworker,told the council RTI steelworkers had a right to get the pensions they had worked their entire lives for.

Copies of the resolution are being forwarded to all-area elected representatives, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and the PBGC.

National Clips are compiled each week by Denise Winebrenner-Edwards (dwinebr696@aol.com). Bruce Bostik, Rosita Johnson and Jim Gallo all contributed to this week’s clips. If you have a story for national clips e-mail pww@pww.org