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[casi] LArgest California Local, Adopts Position on War with Iraq

Thanks to Portside Group for this.

[SEIU Local 250, with 60,000 health caregivers in Northern California
is the largest local union in California and the second largest
health care workers union in the United States. <> The following message was sent by
local president Sal Rosselli to all union staff following the
unanimous vote of the local's executive board.]


From: Sal Rosselli
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 3:43 PM
Subject: 250 position on war/Wellstone memorial

I'm pleased to report that our E>Bd. unanimously adopted the attached
position against Bush's Iraq plan.  I'm thinking of organizing a
labor memorial for Paul Welstone (Ed Herzog is doing a video using
his visits to our Union) and doing a brainstorm/planning session on
labor's program to oppose the war.  I'll keep you informed and always
welcome your ideas.  Thanks, Sal

Sal Rosselli, President
SEIU Local 250
510-251-1250 Phone
510-763-2680 Fax


The Health Care Workers Union, SEIU Local 250 has 85,000 members in
Northern California.  Our members spend their working lives giving
care to the sick, the elderly and the disabled.  We work in both the
public and private sectors.  We care about human life and we care
about our country.  We participate fully in our communities, in our
state and local politics and government, in our religious
institutions and in our union.  As a union and as patriotic
Americans, we are obligated to educate ourselves about current
affairs that affect our members, our families and our patients.  We
are obliged to make our opinions known to our representatives.
Through this resolution we are addressing an issue of overriding
concern to us  the possibility of the war on Iraq initiated by our

After discussion and debate by our Executive Board, we adopt the
following positions concerning a possible war with Iraq:

1. We oppose any unilateral, preemptive war against Iraq initiated by
the United States or any other nation.  We urge our government to
bring its case against Iraq to the United Nations (U.N.) and to abide
by the decision of the United Nations.

2. Preemptive war should need a higher standard of support from the
international community than does defensive war.  If the United
States or its close allies were under attack from Iraq, the support
of the United Nations would not be required.  Fortunately, this is
not the case.

3. We encourage the President to continue to raise the issue of
compliance by Iraq with the terms of the 1991 agreement.  We think
the United Nations should enforce its resolutions concerning
inspection and disarmament, and it is appropriate for the United
States to use diplomatic and economic pressure to achieve this end.
It is not appropriate for the United States to bypass the U.N. absent
an immediate threat by Iraq against us or our allies or Iraq's

4. In our modern world we must strengthen multi-national institutions
such as the U.N. or else we risk a breakdown of international law.
The U.S. must not be the nation that sets the precedent for
unilateral, preemptive war.

5. The timing of this rush to war by President Bush is very troubling
and suspicious.  Our economy is in trouble; our social safety net is
being weakened; our seniors need coverage for prescription drugs; our
health care system is in crisis and we have an election on the
horizon.  Suddenly President Bush has changed the discussions into a
referendum on whether or not the American people will support our
military in a war.  And he has done this in spite of the fact that
there is no evidence that Iraq is more of an immediate danger to any
other nation that it was 6 months or a year ago or even two years ago
when President Bush was inaugurated.

6. The American people support a response to Al-Queda in reaction to
the horrific September 11 attacks. This support must not be misused
to justify attacking Iraq.  There is no credible evidence that Iraq
was involved in the 9/11 attacks. A preemptive attack against Iraq
will weaken appropriate, multi-lateral efforts to reduce terrorism.

7. And, finally, we are mindful that wars kill people and destroy
societies. The potential death toll in Iraq is staggering.
Furthermore, an attack on Iraq would cause an estimated 1.5 million
Iraqi civilians to become refugees. War will spend huge resources in
people and money - resources that could be used for health care,
schools and social services. Experts estimate that an attack would
use more than $100 billion of U.S. taxpayer monies.  Because of these
many reasons, a war should be the last resort.  We are not convinced
that all other options have been exhausted.  We are not convinced
that Iraq poses an immediate threat to our country, our allies or its
neighbors and we are extremely suspicious of the timing of this rush
to war.

We are circulating this resolution to all of our senators and
representatives from California.  We are also sending it to the
Service Employees International Union and we are requesting our
International Union to circulate it to our local unions.

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