|Order this here|
By Joel Schor
Member Sailors Union of the Pacific (SUP)
Also identified casual working under ILWU
San Francisco 12-11-17
The meeting of the Sailors Union of the Pacific had more in attendance today than usual because of the holidays. I attended and introduced a motion to support the resolution passed at the Duluth (Minn) Labor Body calling on the AFL-CIO to open the AIFLD files to the public. The files are stored at the University of Maryland. I gave a very brief background on what the AIFLD was and brought up a few clauses in our union constitution which states we support seafarers the world over and also that we support other “bona fide” labor unions in their cause to attain better wages, working conditions and respect on the job.
There were quite a few questions about why the records might be held back and if they pertained to all or a part of the AIFLD files. I explained that these files pertain primarily to the Mexico City Ford plant incident and while Trumka has not stated he is against opening the files he has not acted to allow their release either. The motion passed nearly unanimously from what I saw with only a few abstentions and none against. The resolution will now go to the local branches on the West Coast which includes LA, Seattle and Hawaii and will likely be passed by all.
The original resolution passed at the Duluth Labor Body has now been endorsed by:
AFSCME Local 444, Oakland CA
Sailors Union of the Pacific (SUP) San Francisco CA
It has been tabled by:
St Paul Minn. Labor Council AFL-CIO
AFSCME District Council 57 Oakland CA http://bit.ly/2hNWJmZ
Withdrawn at AFSCME Local 2428 Oakland CA to be introduced in January.
It is also being discussed in other AFSCME, SEIU and UAW local unions and among rank and file members of the trade union movement.
And the resolution has been endorsed by the following non AFL-CIO bodies:
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) http://bit.ly/2jxoQe0
The DSA Chicago Labor Body http://bit.ly/2jamI8a
The Workers Solidarity Network
Here is the text of the resolution :
Whereas, workers in Ford Motor’s Mexico City Assembly Plant were involved in a series of labor disputes in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s resisting efforts to bring their wages and benefits down to the level of the new plants on the U.S. border and demanding democratic elections in their union. Many were kidnapped, beaten, shot and fired. One died from wounds received in the plant.
Whereas, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), a now defunct arm of the AFL-CIO was reputedly involved in these events and the AFL-CIO has sent the old records from this group to the University of Maryland, the official repository for AFL-CIO records.
Whereas, the University of Maryland has requested permission for a year to open new AIFLD records and archive them for researchers and has not received approval from the National AFL-CIO to do so.
Therefore, be it resolved, That the National AFL-CIO take the action necessary to allow archivists at the University of Maryland to open new American Institute for Free Labor Development records.
You can download the resolution on letterhead in pdf format here.
Download the Duluth Labor Paper article on this issue
We urge union members to raise this resolution in your locals, on your executive board if you are on it and in the workplace. It is positive that organizations outside the official union movement have endorsed the resolution but what will bring pressure to bear on the AFL-CIO leadership to allow the University of Maryland to make the AIFLD files available to the public is pressure from the ranks of organized labor.