[Unions in South Africa (S.A.) are standing strong against an all-out attack by the apartheid government. We stand with them.]

by Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid
Forest Park, Illinois, United States
Undated, late 1987 or early 1988
1 page
Type: Statement
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The statement says unions in South Africa (S.A.) are standing strong against an all-out attack by the apartheid government; we stand with them; S.A. unions represent their members in the workplace; and, they are leaders in opposing apartheid; their growing strength has caused the government to jail labor leaders, crackdown on the labor federation COSATU, and try to destroy them. The statement says ILNAA is mobilizing local unions (1) to protest the attacks on labor, (2) to step up the Shell Oil boycott, and (3) to support stronger U.S. sanctions against S.A. We are part of an international effort that includes many, many unions and the AFL-CIO. The statement says we stand with S.A. unions because it makes sense. It is in the interest of our members; we both fight the same corporations; U.S. workers cannot compete with slave wages, and S.A. workers cannot live with them. The statement says with South Africa, there is also a moral issue that cannot be ignored-an issue of human rights; apartheid is an outrage, a system of forced separation of the races that keeps a small white minority governing the majority; blacks in S.A. cannot vote; forced removals, mass evictions, separation of husbands from wives and children, restrictions on movement, detention by security forces-these are part of everyday life in South Africa. The statement says the vibrant labor movement in S.A. will remain healthy, with our help and others in the international labor community; for despite incredible odds, South African unions continue to grow by leaps and bounds; their courage and determination is at once an inspiration and a hope to trade unionists here. The statement says the Steering Committee (in formation) includes: John Agrela, Business Manager, Local S71, Sheet Metal Workers; Charles Barton, Secretary-Treas., Local 500P, UFCW (United Food and Canning Workers); Emma Beck, Retired, Local 500P, UFCW; Joe Costigan, Education Dept., ACTWU (Amalgamated Clothing ant Textile Workers Union); Bob Dahlke, President/Bus. Mgr., Local 16S, Int. Brotherhood of Elec. Workers (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, IBEW); Mike Flores, Int. Rep., Coordinator Civil Rights Council, Reg. 4, UAW (United Auto Workers); Michael I. Handley, Assistant to Vice-President, District 4, Communications Workers of America (CWA); Fred Harris, President, United Workers Association/U.E. Local 11S4; Barbara (B.J.) Jones, President, Chicago Chapter, A. Philip Randolph Institute; Bessie Lee, Secretary-Treasurer, Chicago Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale & Dept. Store Union (RWDSU, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union); Max Liberle, President, Local 2000, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees); Ronald F. Luesmann, President, Local 1550, UFCW; Ron Martin, Region 1, AFL-CIO; Andrew Mason, Executive Asst. to the Regional Director, UFCW; Arthur L. Mitcham, Exec. Board, Local 81, Int. Fed. of Professional & Tech. Engineers (IFPTE, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers); John O'Gara, President, Local 1, Hotel & Restaurant Employees; Rick Olesen, President, Local 14S, UAW; Ronald Powell, President, Local 881, UFCW; Alfonso Richardson, Business Rep., Local 881, UFCW; Frank Rosen, Director, District 11, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers (UE, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America); Rachel Rubin, Chair, Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa (CCSSA); Carl Shier, President, Retired Workers Chapter Local 6, UAW; Tom Suhrbur, Illinois Education Association Staff Organization (IEA); Carole Travis, President, Local 719, UAW; Mitch Vogel, President, Local 4100, AFT (American Federation of Teachers); Cleveland Ware, President, Chicago Area Civil Rights Council, Reg. 4, UAW; Jarvis Williams, President, Local 46, SEIU (Service Employees International Union); Cole Wright, President, Local 500P, UFCW; and Richard Ziebell, President, Local 477, UAW. The statement discusses COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions).
Used by permission of a former member of the Illinois Labor Network Against Apartheid.
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers