The Foreign Policy of the Communications Workers of America

You can learn a lot about the U.S. labor movement by reading the Communists. The reporters for People’s World, which used to be the People’s Weekly World, which used to be The Daily Worker, are competent and, in reporting on speeches by labor officials, are not restrained by the same internal censors that govern the union-employed writers. If a union leader says something extreme or activists embrace the outlandish, the union writers will overlook the damaging comments. In contrast, writers for People’s World are likely to regard the remarks as virtuous and worth highlighting.

Case in point, the PW’s report on last week’s 72nd Convention of the Communications Workers of America, “CWA takes sober look at labor’s challenges.”

CWA took time out from politics and organizing to pass a resolution demanding withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors from both Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure, pushed by U.S. Labor Against War, won by a majority show of hands. But delegates spent the rest of their time on U.S. politics and CWA internal business…[snip]

The Iraq-Afghanistan withdrawal resolution linked the wars together and demanded redirection of money spent on them to domestic needs, including care for returning injured and wounded troops.

One delegate, an Air Force veteran who recently returned from Afghanistan, opposed it, and two other delegates spoke for it.

That’s sounds like a really interesting story, especially if you interviewed the war veteran and reported on the activities of U.S. Labor Against War. Alas, this is the only report we’ve found on CWA’s foreign policy as discussed at the convention in Washington. It’s not mentioned anywhere at the CWA website.

P.S. For that matter, we didn’t know that organized labor has gone on the offensive against the American Red Cross. The PW reported that the CWA:

Blasted the Red Cross’ anti-union stand. The non-profit demands pay and benefit cuts from its CWA, UFCW, OPEIU, AFSCME and SEIU member-workers. CWA asked its locals to contact United Way area affiliates, since the Red Cross is a big beneficiary of United Way funds, “and request they contact ARC to demand” it “respect the collective bargaining process, consistent with United Way policy.”

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