Convention Resolution | Civil Rights

Resolution 47: Condemn Rising Fascism, Fight For Working-Class Unity

WHEREAS, “In Our Unity Lies Our Strength” is a crucial union principle for building a better life for all workers; and

WHEREAS, Wall Street and the corporate powers counter workers’ unity and solidarity with the strategy of divide and conquer, always attempting to divide native from foreign born, men from women, white from black, private sector from public sector, full time from temporary, and U.S. workers from workers around the world; and

WHEREAS, the rise of the “alt-right,” KKK and neo-Nazis/neo-fascists and their divisiveness of white supremacy, bigotry, intimidation, and race and religious hatred is a direct threat to the working class, to the oppressed and to our union organizations; and

WHEREAS, union members and people of goodwill across the political spectrum are disturbed and outraged by the rising presence and violence of these hate groups in Charlottesville and elsewhere—and the green light given by the White House; and

WHEREAS, we should never forget the devastation fascism, most identified with Hitler-led Nazi Germany, inflicted on the people of the world behind the white supremacist theories of the superiority of the “Aryan Master Race”; and

WHEREAS, one of the first acts of Nazi Germany was to ban trade unions and persecute, jail and kill unionists. Hitler’s Germany invaded one country after the other, leaving tens of millions murdered by the Nazis’ brutal iron heel crushing those who did not think, talk or look like them; and

WHEREAS, it took World War II, led by the “Allied Powers” of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, to defeat world fascism, but not before Hitler exterminated 6 million Jewish people in concentration camps (the Holocaust), worked to death millions of slave laborers used to enrich the German industrialists, and cost the lives of some 80 million human beings; and

WHEREAS, the recent events in Charlottesville, including the killing of the young woman protester Heather Heyer, the emboldened white supremacists and their spewing of race hatred toward African Americans, Jewish people and Latino and other immigrants, underscore that if we are not vigilant, we could wake up in a fascist America; and

WHEREAS, for unions, a worker is a worker, is a worker. We are all equal, assets to society and to our unions; and

WHEREAS, workers have far more in common than differences; workers all want and deserve decent wages and benefits, quality and affordable health care, dignified retirements and a bright future for coming generations;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO, gathered at its 28th Constitutional Convention, condemns and actively opposes the hate mongering, intimidation and divisiveness of the fascist/neo-Nazi white supremacist groups and the political encouragement that they are receiving from the highest levels of government; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we salute and support those counter-protesters, such as the 40,000 that took to the streets of Boston for equality and against the hate mongers, who are drawing a line in the sand; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO encourage our affiliates to do the same and engage in the struggle to defend union rights and all democratic rights in opposition to rising fascism.