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From: Jack Heyman jackheyman@comcast.net
Date: Aug 18, 2005

Local 10 Pres. Willis' Solidarity Speech to the Bay Area Labor Movement
by Trent Willis, President ILWU Local 10

Brothers and Sisters:

WITH THE RECENT split in the AFL-CIO, the American trade union movement is at a critical crossroads. Unless labor learns from its mistakes and ACTS accordingly, we are bound to repeat them. There is one proviso: the survival of organized labor hangs in the balance.

Today American unions are faced with another potential airlines' strike on Friday August 19, very much like PATCO. This time it's the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, an independent union, not affiliated either with the AFL-CIO or the split off organization, the Change to Win Coalition. But when it's a question of workers standing up for their rights against the bosses, all of organized labor must stand with them or face the dire consequences of another PATCO travesty.

International President Jim Herman at the time of the PATCO strike proposed to then-AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland a united labor action, including a walkout, to defend against President Reagan's threat. Unfortunately, his call to action went unheeded and workers are paying that onerous cost today. Labor must learn the lessons of PATCO.

ILWU Local 10 with a long and proud record of labor solidarity calls on all labor unions, labor councils and workers organizations, here and internationally, to honor the Aircraft Mechanics' strike. Let us hold high labor's banner: "An injury to one is an injury to all."

(This speech was given at the ILWU Local 10 membership meeting Aug. 18, 2005.)

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