CFT RESOLUTION 35
CALIFORNIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS CONVENTION 2009
Endorses the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign
Submitted by the United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT Local 1021 Committee Socio-Political
April 1, 2009
Whereas, in recent months we have witnessed billions of dollars pumped into the financial institutions with no strings attached. Reckless behavior and greed have been graced with the most extravagant rewards, allowing the rich to get even richer. After receiving their bailout, AIG executives resumed their plans for a retreat at a lavish resort. Meanwhile, foreclosures have risen, unemployment has soared, and misery has spread with virtually nothing being done for the millions of workers suffering from these afflictions, and
Whereas, we cannot sit back and simply hope that things will get better while financial executives have organized themselves and lobbied for bailouts. We must now do the same. We must organize ourselves and mount a campaign, insisting that government programs benefit the majority of the population first and foremost, not the super wealthy small minority, and
Whereas, at these historic crossroads, as we face the prospect of another Great Depression, and dedicate ourselves to forging the broadest unity in action among those in the labor movement, Black and Latino organizations, immigrant rights groups, antiwar and other social justice protest movements to secure the emergency measures listed below, and
Whereas, these demands are necessary steps to address the pressing needs of working people and the oppressed in general so that we can all enjoy a secure and comfortable life and find relief from an economic crisis we had no part in creating. We are committed to reaching out to more workers and encouraging them to endorse our demands and join our movement, the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC), so that we can form committees across the country, organize educational forums, and then aim at building a national conference to promote this campaign. In this way we can begin to win the majority of working people to this agenda, and
Whereas, the election of Barack Obama has provided an opportunity for change in this country, but will only be realized with hard work by grassroots organizing, rank-and-file mobilization and continual pressure on President Obama and Congress, and
Whereas, the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign has sent an open letter to Barack Obama, urging him to endorse the campaign,
Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) endorse the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign Platform, sign on to the open letter, and send a letter to the California congressional delegation asking them to support it as well, and
Be it finally resolved, that the CFT transmit this resolution to the AFT and the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, and urge its members and local affiliates to participate in this campaign calling for the following:
1) Put a halt to the Wall Street bailout plan. Not one more penny should be earmarked to bail out the bankers and speculators. It’s time to bail out working people.
2) Enact a moratorium on all home foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions and rent hikes.
3) Enact H.R. 676 – the universal, single payer healthcare plan. Take the private insurance companies out of the healthcare equation. Guarantee fully-funded pensions for retirees, along with healthcare and other benefits.
4) Enact the Employee Free Choice Act so that every worker can have union representation.
5) Stop the layoffs in auto and other industries across the country, retool the auto industry to build rapid mass transit, solar, and wind systems.
6) Stop the scapegoating of immigrant workers. Stop the ICE raids and deportations.
7) End all funding for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home now. The war expenditures in these countries alone are estimated at $3 trillion. Redirect all war funding to meet human needs.
8) Enact a massive national reconstruction public works program (minimum expenditure needed of $1 trillion) to rebuild the nation’s schools, hospitals and crumbling infrastructure and to put millions of people back to work at a union-scale wage. Provide all necessary funding for a genuine Reconstruction program in the Gulf Coast; enact the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (HR 4048).
9) Defend and expand the rights and economic security of those who are unable to work. Grant living wage benefits to single parents, disabled, seniors, and the unemployed. End the arbitrary, punitive time limits, sanctions, denial of education, and forced unwaged workfare in the TANF welfare program.
10) Tax the corporations and the rich-not working people-to finance a workers’ recovery plan. The rich currently enjoy historically high levels of wealth while being taxed at bargain basement rates. Implement a retroactive tax on windfall revenue on the oil-energy industry, return capital income taxation to 1981 levels, and repatriate the $2 trillion from the offshore tax havens.
(Resolution adopted as amended)