[The following Call to working people of all countries was initiated by auto workers in the Ford plant in St. Paul, MN. The Call is not addressed to the rulers and war-makers and it asks nothing of them. It is addressed by workers to other workers here and abroad. The Call reflects the best hopes and values that bind ordinary people from country to country–the only real hope for peace in the world.
New Democracy is posting the Call of Workers for Peace here with the hope that others will read it, sign it, and pass it on far and wide. Whatever the war-makers do in the coming months, this Call is a step toward solidarity among ordinary people everywhere and toward an international conversation about the world we really want.]
Workers for Peace
(We invite everyone in our world to sign this call for a conversation about peace. It doesn't matter if you are a housewife, farmer, teacher, office worker, union or nonunion or unemployed. We are all Sisters and Brothers here and we must rely on each other to get the Solidarity World we deserve. To add your name, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
In our workplaces and poverty lines across our world, plutocrats and corporate royalty and their union lackeys collude to persuade us to see other workers as competitors and enemies.
We are pushed by powerful labor sellouts to believe that it is now the business of trade unionism to put our brothers and sisters out of work.
We see how this dog eat dog attitude towards all workers -- with whom we have everything in common -- is on the same evil, competitive continuum as war itself.
We see that competition against other workers diminishes those workers in our eyes.We see that in war, soldiers -- the production workers of war -- lose not only their jobs but also their lives while the rich profit.
We say that war is the eventual endgame outcome of worker against worker, dog eat dog competition which workers lose so the rich can be richer.
War is the ultimate, evil competition.
We call on workers everywhere to stop the competition between us and to fight for a world based in solidarity.
Everyone can at least talk and we ask that our talk include what we can all do to make the world a safe and happier place. We call on workers to simply talk about the traditional direct action tools of the labor movement.
Can we call for and have international conversations about redeveloping our traditional weapons -- slowdowns, sitdowns, and strikes -- to bring down those who kill us, and to equalize wages and working conditions at the highest possible levels throughout the world?
If we must fight, let us fight against those who constantly divide us and play us against each other for their own profit even to the point of forcing us to kill each other.
If we must fight a war let it be a war against selfishness and poverty.
Let us fight to unite all workers against the destructive, dictatorial greed of corporate moguls. Let us fight to see that those who have the least gain equality in wages, health care and education and the right to a happy life.
A simple conversation started amongst workers who believe in the working class values of solidarity, equality and democracy can change the world.
Let our war begin with the peaceful exchange of words and ideas.
--Signed, Workers for Peace
Victor Reuther, UAW Pioneer, Washington, DC * Jim Emerick, Recon Infantry
1949-1957, Korean Combat Vet, 1950-51, 2nd Infantry; 1952-53, 40th
Infantry, (CIB, 2 Silver Stars, 5 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Unit
Citations - mailed medals back to Dept. of Defense during 'Nam as protest
of that war) Veterans for Peace (VFP), Former AFSCME Bargaining Chair,
I.W.W. * Dennis Serdel, 11th Light
Infantry Brigade, Americal Div., Vietnam 1967-68 , UAW Local 5960 Pontiac,
MI * Gregg Shotwell, Editor Live Bait & Ammo, UAW Local 2151,
Rapids, MI * David Yettaw, Vietnam Vet, Strike Leader, Fmr. Pres (now
retired) UAW Local 599 , Flint, MI * John Kiel, Pipefitter, UAW Local 1111,
Indianapolis * John Martinez, Editor, UAW Local 22 * Trish Staiger,
Anti-Poverty & Peace Activist, Hastings, MN * Al McKinnis, Fmr. USMC, UAW
Local 879, St. Paul, MN * Barbara Laney, Commercial Closer, Mpls. *
Gagner, 1st Cavalry, Vietnam; Mechanic, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Tom
Laney, Fmr. 82nd Airborne, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Caroline Lund, Trustee
and Exec. Board Member, UAW Local 2244, Fremont, CA * Barry Sheppard,
Steward IAM Local Lodge 1781, UAL Mechanic, Oakland, CA * Nancy
Schillinger, Fmr. Committeewoman, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Wendy
Thompson, President, UAW Local 235 Detroit * John Spritzler, New Democracy,
Boston * Doug Hanscom, Editor Disgrunted Autoworker, UAW Local 239,
Baltimore * John T. Cabral, New Democracy, Chicago * John E. Lewis, U.S.
Navy 1945-46, Vets for Peace, Traverse City, MI * Dale A. Richardson, USMC
2nd Battalion, Echo Co., 1st Marine Div., R.V.N. 1969 * Bruce Sanderson,
WWII, Svc. 1st ARMD Corps (Patton's own) N. Africa, Sicily, Later Okinawa,
President Veterans for Peace N. MI, Jordan, MI * Dave Stratman, Editor, New
Democracy, Boston * Maria Josefina Saldana, PSC City U. of New York AFT
Local 2334 * Greg Mondry, Fmr. Bargainer, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Ben
Moore, Tri Level UAW Local 879, St. Paul * David Payne, TriLevel, UAW Local
879 St. Paul * Mary Henehan, Foreign Exchange Trader, US Bank, Mpls. *
Martin Schreader, Local 707, National Production Workers Union, Detroit *
Vic Roberts, UMWA Local 1981 * Joe Callahan, Peace & Picketline Activist,
UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Ken Little, Carpenters Local 1144, Seattle * Pete
Bennett, UAW Local 2093 * Matt Lammers, Teacher St. Pius X Catholic High
School, Atlanta * James Ketola, UAW Local 467, Fmr Paratrooper
Infantryman, US Army, RVN 1969-71, Burlingame, CA * Steven Saelzler, UAW
Local 372, 4th Division, 3/8 Infantry Vietnam, Vets for peace, Michael
Gramlich Chapter Brownstown, MI * Vic Roberts, Ret. Coalminer, UMWA Local
9819 * Neil Chacker, UAW Local 1700, Ret. Sp/4 3rd Cavalry, US Army, Ret. *
Shiffi Bluestein, Student, Melbourne, Australia * Steven K. Shotwell, Grand
Rapids, MI * Elly Leary, VP & Bargaining Chair Ret., UAW Local 2324, Boston
* Paula Murray, UAW Local 424, Rochester, NY * Erwin Bauer, UAW Local 306
President Ret. * Carlene A. Crnkovich, Foreign Exchange Trader, US Bank,
Mpls. * Margaret J. Rickerson, Fmr. US Navy WAVE 1968-71, US Bank, Mpls. *
Maeves & Allan Martin, 1/1107 TGWU, Ford Dagenham, UK * Buck Buchanan,
Quality Control Inspector, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Paul "The Champ"
Elliott, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, St. Paul * Joel Gobats,
Worker, UAW Local 879, St. Paul * Bill Hanline, (USMC) FLC, FLSGA, LSU-1,
1968-69 * Rob Funk, Social Worker, St. Paul * Carmel Funk, Legal
Secretary, St. Paul * Barbara Gibbs, Activist for Workers' Rights, UAW
Local 2209, Ft. Wayne, IN * Doug Fuda, New Democracy, Boston * Roman
Dietinger, Youthworker, Austria * Konrad Stein, Dortmund, Germany * Lloyd
Overfield, Editor, Union Times * Peter Rachleff, Labor History Professor,
Macalester College, St. Paul * Hermann Westveld, Ford Volvo Worker, Belgium
* Terry Engler , President , I.L.W.U. Local 400, Vancouver B.C. * Jurgen
P. Kuhl, One Big Union, Scotland * Einar Schlereth, Journalist * Sarah
Beamish * Dave Prodrick, Ford UK Worker * Rebecca Burrill, Boston * Khaled
Hamam, Doha, Qatar * Irma Ponti-Cowperthwaite, MSW, Recife, Brazil* Paul
Phillips, President, Quincy, Mass. Education Association * Libby Pappalardo,
Social Justice Activist, Chicago * Susan Ohanian, Writer, Charlotte, VT * Judy
Wraight, UAW Local
600 Tool & Die Exec. Bd. and General Council, Detroit * Ron Lare, former UAW Local 600 Guide, Detroit * Karen Falder, Chemainus, B.C. Canada * Moana Soto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil * Dave
Sellinger, Student, Stanford U., USA * Dennis Otterstetter, Shelton, WA * Paul F. Charbonneau, Toronto * Nina Holmes * Danny Bourne, Firefighter IAFF Local 3888, Toronto, Canada * Dennis Perrin, Educator, Hutchinson, KS *