Statement Of Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council On Solidarity Charters And AFL-CIO

Statement Of Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council On Solidarity Charters And AFL-CIO

November 12, 2013

Brothers and Sisters,

At our regular meeting November 11th, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council voted unanimously to approve the following resolution on solidarity charters with the hope that other CLC’s, Area, and State Feds would follow our example. Our goal is to address this unique situation in a respectful way, by using what we believe to be the most effective means of communication available. Simply put, this is about maintaining a level of local autonomy that is necessary to sustain existing relationships and solidarity at the local level.
Our own council has come a long way in the past few years. We are a small entity, consisting entirely of volunteer positions. We continue to grow and accomplish new goals with each passing year. Much of our recent growth can be attributed to the hype and success following the lengthy battle with the EGT Grain Elevator here at the Port of Longview. This period of struggle drastically affected our lives and the community. We learned invaluable lessons about the state of labor in this day and age. Most importantly, we learned that no matter the differences our affiliates had with one another, we were still able to come together to fight off insurmountable odds and beat a powerful multi-national corporation. We were able to achieve victory through solidarity that was funneled through the labor council.
No matter the reasons for ILWU disaffiliating from the AFL-CIO, it is our belief that their members should be afforded the same opportunity other unions have. This is intended to be a positive and proactive effort, with the goal being to maintain relations with this strong ally. We are asking your council to join us in adopting this resolution or by passing a similar one, petitioning the AFL-CIO to allow solidarity charters for ILWU affiliates.

“The most important word in the language of the working class is solidarity.”
– Harry Bridges

In Solidarity,

Kyle Mackey
CWCLC President

Approved 11/11/13
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council

Resolution on ILWU Solidarity Charters

WHEREAS; grassroots organizing, involvement, and interaction between various unions and allies at the local level is the real strength of the AFL-CIO.

WHEREAS; a bottom up and democratic structure, wherein the local CLC’s, area feds, and state feds have adequate local autonomy and freedom to organize within reasonable guidelines is the ideal model for growing the labor movement.

WHEREAS; solidarity above all else, is the centerpiece of the labor movement.

WHEREAS; the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has been a powerful ally to the labor movement since it’s inception in 1937.

WHEREAS; the ILWU has always been at the forefront in the struggle for social justice and better working conditions.

WHEREAS; the ILWU’s motto “An injury to one, is an injury to all” has consistently been practiced and reinforced by its members in support of other unions on and off the job, in the political arena, with community involvement, and most importantly on the picket line.

WHEREAS; ILWU Local affiliates have expressed interest in continued solidarity and involvement at the local and state levels.

WHEREAS; AFL-CIO solidarity charters have been granted at the local and state levels under similar conditions in the past.

BE IT RESOLVED; that this body respectfully requests that the AFL-CIO Executive Council re-evaluate its position on solidarity charters at the local and state levels as it pertains to the ILWU.