New national labor network formed to “end the death and devastation” in the Israel-Hamas war.

National Labor Network for Ceasefire aims to further expand unprecedented ceasefire support.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephen DeMatteo at (202) 549-6748; contact@laborforceasefire.org

Friday, February 16, 2024

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Seven national unions and over two hundred local unions today announce the formation of the National Labor Network for Ceasefire (NLNC) to “end the death and devastation” in the Middle East, and to expand support for the ceasefire among unions nationally.

 

Together, unions calling for a ceasefire represent over 9 million union members – more than half the labor movement in the United States. The NLNC launch comes on the heels of a statement calling for a ceasefire released by the AFL-CIO last week – the largest federation of unions in the United States.

 

Among the national unions announcing the NLNC are the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the National Education Association (NEA), National Nurses United (NNU), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the United Electrical Workers (UE), joined by two hundred local unions and labor organizations.

 

The war between Israel and Hamas has continued unabated since Hamas brutally attacked Israel on October 7th, killing 1,163 people, and taking 253 hostages. Israel responded with an onslaught that has killed over 28,000 Palestinians and left over 67,000 others injured. 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced, and humanitarian aid remains mostly blocked from those in need.

 

The NLNC is launching their website (laborforceasefire.org) with a call for unions and union members to sign the ceasefire letter to continue expanding labor’s ceasefire movement.

 

The NLNC supports:

The Network consists of unions who have already signed the network letter calling for a ceasefire, combined with unions who have made their own ceasefire statements, and they represent over 9 million union members. This continuing groundswell of labor support for a permanent ceasefire connected to US foreign policy is unprecedented since the founding of the American Federation of Labor in 1886.

 

Some of the network unions have released their own statements, some have signed the NLNC letter, and some have done both. What all the unions have in common is a passionate commitment to peace.

 

“The support for a ceasefire is overwhelming. We can’t stand by in the face of this suffering. We cannot bomb our way to peace. We express our solidarity with all workers and our common desire for peace in Palestine and Israel,” says UE President Carl Rosen.

 

Network member and United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain, says, “The UAW has a long tradition of calling for peace and justice for working class people across the globe, and we live that tradition today. In that spirit, we call for an immediate end to the U.S. government’s funding and support of this brutal assault on Gaza.”

 

The National Education Association (NEA) expressed deep concern for the many women and children being harmed in the war. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, more than 70% of deaths in Gaza involve women and children. And according to reporting by the BBC, at least 94 of the 253 hostages taken were women or children.

 

“As educators, we believe strongly in our professional and moral responsibility to teach and model inclusion and respect for differences, and we must speak out against injustices and violence towards innocent people, especially children. Many educators feel a deep connection to the children in Israel and Palestine. We know that our children are watching, hurting, and in need of a lasting peace.” says Rebecca Pringle, National Education Association President.

 

“As a union that stands for equality, social justice, human and labor rights, we unite with unions and people of goodwill around the world in calls for a ceasefire, for justice and peace,” says APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The cries of humanity call for nothing less.”

 

Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United (NNU), says, “Nurses cannot allow our patients and our colleagues to continue suffering from the traumas of war. We vow to protect and heal all people, and it’s our duty to speak up for every human being’s right to a life free of violence. We’re calling for a ceasefire now before one more life is lost, before one more family faces injuries or illnesses.”

 

Association of Flight Attendants’ (AFA-CWA) President Sara Nelson, a consistent social justice supporter, noted, “Aviation’s first responders bring people together around the world. Saving lives comes first. Nothing else is possible without the security of peace, and the necessary attention to basic human needs. Ceasefire now.”

 

“Working people have a duty to stand up. We know that neither bombs nor bullets can fix a conflict of this magnitude,” says James Williams Jr., President of the International Union of Painters, and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

 

For more information, contact Stephen DeMatteo at (202) 549-6748;  or contact@laborforceasefire.org