To join the USPS Workers Rank-and-File Committee, or for more information, email USPSRankandFileCommittee@gmail.com. Alternatively, fill out the form at the bottom of this article.
The US Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee calls upon our coworkers across the country to take up the call by the Palestinian trade union federation for global job actions to force an end to the Israeli genocide in the Gaza Strip.
The situation there is horrific. Gaza’s 2.2 million civilians are trapped in an area the size of Detroit without food, fuel or water. The Israeli military is deliberately targeting hospitals, schools and civilians. Over 10,000 have died already, half of them children. The intentions of the Israeli government has been made clear by one government minister who recently advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Gaza, declaring the survivors should go to “Ireland or the desert.”
The right-wing government in Israel could not do this without the full support of the United States, which is sending weapons and deploying warships and nuclear weapons to surround the Middle East, threatening a wider war which could spiral out of control. Washington supports the genocide because it sees it as part of a globe-spanning conflict, which also includes the war against Russia in Ukraine, for world domination.
The fight against war is totally connected to the fight against exploitation and inequality at home. The same US government which says there is “no money” for decent wages and jobs at home is spending hundreds of billions of dollars for unpopular and criminal wars.
The fight to defend the US Postal Service is totally connected with the fight against war. Both parties are supporting the vast restructuring called “Delivering for America,” which is aimed at saving hundreds of billions by closing local post offices and shedding tens of thousands of jobs. Where is this money going? Straight out of our pockets to fund war and genocide.
We endorse the statement by our sister organization in Britain, the UK Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee, which not only called for action to halt the shipment of weapons, but also “a refusal by postal workers to deliver mail to government and civil service departments and companies involved in the arms trade.”
There is massive and growing support from workers all over the world for action to stop the war. Already, workers in Spain and Belgium have announced they will refuse to ship weapons to Israel. Protests in the United States have already temporarily shut down arms factories and delayed a military supply vessel from leaving ports in the West Coast.
Will Lehman, a rank-and-file autoworker who ran for United Auto Workers president on a platform of abolishing the trade union bureaucracy, also issued a statement calling for action which has received wide support. Similar statements and open letters are being circulated by workers all over the world.
We also denounce the AFL-CIO’s October 11 resolution backing Israel’s genocide. The AFL-CIO bureaucrats are also trying to clamp down on workers in union locals from passing pro-Palestinian resolutions. They do not speak for workers, but for the government and the US ruling class. For decades, they have supported US imperialism through their involvement in groups like Solidarity Center and the National Endowment for Democracy, which are centers for organizing coups and assassinations against left-wing governments and trade union officials around the world.
Sellout contracts and support for war are two sides of the same coin. They are pro-war because they are in bed with the same corporations who benefit from war. Just as they have spent decades supporting war, they have spent decades pushing through one sellout contract after another, claiming it is necessary for US corporations to “compete” with their foreign rivals. These same corporations will benefit from this war too, and that is why the AFL-CIO supports it.
Now they are locking arms with the Biden administration as Washington prepares for global war stretching from Ukraine, to the Middle East and to China to dominate critical markets and natural resources. But our real allies are not “our own” CEOs in the United States, but the working class in every country.
Therefore, a global movement to stop this genocidal war must be combined with a rank-and-file rebellion against the pro-corporate trade union bureaucracy which is sitting on our chests.
APWU president Mark Dimondstein, to his credit, was the sole member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council to oppose the October 11 resolution, and the APWU has issued a public statement calling for a ceasefire.
But this does not go far enough. It does not call for action by APWU members against the war or even any demonstrations against the war. The APWU wants to avoid this because it would undermine their attempts, and those of the other postal unions, to help ram through Delivering for America.
The postal union bureaucrats want workers to believe that they are powerless to stop Delivering for America, and have done nothing to even inform their members about what is happening. But action by hundreds of thousands of postal workers against US government-supported genocide would embolden them, raise their class consciousness, help them to establish ties of solidarity with workers in the anti-war movement around the world and undermine the authority of the political establishment which is waging war abroad while cutting jobs at home.
The warmongers in Washington and in Israel will not back down because of short statements. Instead, they are doubling down and preparing to ban anti-war protests and even anti-war speech. They must be forced to back down by mass action in the working class, which creates all of the world’s wealth and without whom nothing can move. If the APWU leadership will not organize this, then we the rank-and-file must do it ourselves.
If you support this, then join the Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee to help fight for it. To join the committee, or for more information, email USPSRankandFileCommittee@gmail.com. Alternatively, fill out the form below.