The United Auto Workers on Friday became the largest U.S. union to endorse a cease-fire in Gaza as Israel resumed its bombardment of the Palestinian territory following a weeklong pause.
Dec 02, 2023
The UAW, the largest union in US have called for a ceasefire. It represents 400,000 workers in the US and more than 580,000 retired workers. The UAW’s endorsement for permanent cease-fire was made public by Brandon Mancilla, director of UAW Region 9A, in remarks at a hunger strike for ceasefire labor press conference in front of the White House on Friday. Brandon wrote on Twitter: Our International Executive Board will also be forming a Divestment and Just Transition working group to study the history of Israel and Palestine, our union’s economic ties to the conflict, and explore how we can have a just transition for US workers from war to peace.
BREAKING: Speaking in front of the White House, United Auto Workers (UAW) becomes the largest union in the country to call for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/bStCanEzlX
— BreakThrough News (@BTnewsroom) December 1, 2023
UAW President Shawn Fain wrote shortly afterwards in a social media post, “I am proud that the UAW International Union is calling for a cease-fire in Israel and Palestine.” “From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the Contra war, the UAW has consistently stood for justice across the globe”, he added.
I am proud that the UAW International Union is calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the CONTRA war, the @UAW has consistently stood for justice across the globe..
— Shawn Fain (@ShawnFainUAW) December 1, 2023
The United Auto Workers has risen in prominence with a historic victory over the three largest automakers in the US. The auto workers won historic pay raises that lifted everyone up, especially those at the lowest rungs of the workforce, eliminated divisive tiers, tied wage increases to inflation, among other victories. UAW have launched a nationwide unionising campaign aimed at organising nearly 150,000 workers at 13 other large automakers in the US. US President Joe Biden have been courting the UAW and has came out in support of strikers.
The UAW’s cease-fire call makes the auto-workers union part of a growing segment of the American labor movement that is pushing for a negotiated end to the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where U.S.-backed Israeli bombing has killed more than 15,000 people in less than two months. Dozens of unions have signed onto a petition launched by the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, which demands the release of all hostages, an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, and a cease-fire that sets the stage for “negotiations for an enduring peace.”
Last month, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) had called for “an immediate cease-fire, the release of hostages, and urgently needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.” “The cries of humanity demand nothing less,” the union had said. The California Nurses Association, the Chicago Teachers Union and several other local unions and worker groups have issued public calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.
The AFL-CIO—the largest federation of unions in the U.S.—has yet to back a cease-fire and has actively pushed back against its affiliates’ efforts to build support for one.