USW Local 3657 is committed to fighting to uphold civil rights. As our goals have always been to empower workers in their workplace, advance and promote equality in our union and communities, encourage political and legislative involvement, organize workers into unions and promote policies that support working families, we are saddened to have to address the death of Michael Brown, the young man gunned down by police in Ferguson, MO. This can only be described as an egregious attack on civil rights.
Our democracy is suffering because segregation by race and class has again resulted in tragedy and reactions based on fear, splitting a community and the country at large. The labor movement has confronted the issues of racism and classism in America on many occasions and must do so now with this tragedy. We must stand in solidarity and be a voice for justice.
The militarization of some law enforcement agencies is a manifestation of the fear authorities hold toward the very citizens they are sworn to protect. USW Local 3657 empathizes with those who take up the shield of a badge and its corresponding risks. However, USW Local 3657 cannot abide the demonization of our youth by those same authorities simply because they are of a different color, race, gender, ethnicity or background.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That the members of the USW Local 3657 stand in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and all those children who have been slain in an environment of fear and hostility;
That USW Local 3657 supports a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice;
That USW Local 3657 urges all media to commit to fair and balanced coverage of such incidents and avoid sensationalizing, regardless of jurisdiction;
That USW Local 3657 urges elected officials and policy makers at all levels to work together in their communities to create an environment of justice for all, not just for the privileged few;
That USW Local 3657 remains committed to fighting for justice and equality and will continue working to break down the systems of racial segregation;
That USW Local 3657 remains committed to holding workshops for our members and the wider community on racial and socioeconomic injustice; and
That USW Local 3657 urges our members to contact elected officials to protest the militarization of the police both in Southwestern Pennsylvania and across the country.
Respectfully submitted this 28th of August 2014 by the Civil Rights Committee of USW Local 3657. Adopted Unanimously.