UAW members march in solidarity with Palestine.
(Photo: UAW Labor for Palestine)
UAW Labor for Palestine’s Endorsement? ‘Uncommitted’ in Michigan
As rank-and-file members of the UAW, we refuse to shore up the political power of officials who do not show accountability to their bases, let alone adhere to social justice imperatives to end war and genocide.
Feb 21, 2024 Common Dreams
Backed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—who was censured late last year for her critiques of Israel’s genocide as the only Palestinian member of Congress—the “Uncommitted” strategy is designed to put pressure on President Joe Biden to call for a permanent cease-fire and stop arming Israel. To build this pressure, Tlaib and many other allies are urging Michigan voters to withhold their vote for Biden and instead cast a ballot for “uncommitted” during the state’s February 27 election.
UAW Labor for Palestine is part of a broader formation of Labor for Palestine with affiliates across the U.S. Founded in 2004, Labor for Palestine is a growing coalition of workers who are heeding an urgent call to global action issued on October 16, 2023 by Palestinian trade unions to end all complicity and stop arming Israel. Members of UAW Labor for Palestine respect the Palestinian trade union picket line by opposing any endorsement of Biden as long as he is providing weapons for Israeli genocide.
UAW Labor for Palestine is committed to working with grassroots groups in and beyond the labor movement that are tirelessly advancing the cause for Palestinian liberation and building the social power needed to transform the U.S. into a peace economy.
UAW Labor for Palestine’s support for the “Uncommitted” strategy comes on the heels of what many felt was the UAW leadership’s premature and unprincipled endorsement of Biden’s reelection campaign in late January, given his role in arming and bankrolling Israel’s genocide against Palestinians. Leadership’s decision was made in secret without any input from union members. Having become the largest U.S. union to call for a cease-fire just the month before, many rank-and-file members felt confused and betrayed by leadership’s announcement to support Biden at the annual UAW political conference, sparking a wave of internal dissent.
Joining unionists from the National Education Association (NEA) and Communications Workers of America (CWA), UAW Labor for Palestine has called on its union leadership to rescind the nomination of Biden on the grounds that it violates solidarity with Palestinian workers. As a union that includes academic workers, some of whose research is funded by the defense industry; manufacturing workers, some of whom work in plants that build weapons components; and logistics workers, some of whom help store and transport weapons destined for Israel and other militarized zones, the UAW has a unique role to play at this moment in creating the worker pressure to implement a permanent cease-fire. But doing so necessitates real pressure on Biden as part of a broader mass movement against the current escalation of Israel’s decades-long project of ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Listen to Michigan-led campaign to vote “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary is an important step in that direction.
UAW Labor for Palestine is committed to working with grassroots groups in and beyond the labor movement that are tirelessly advancing the cause for Palestinian liberation and building the social power needed to transform the U.S. into a peace economy. As rank-and-file members of the UAW, we refuse to shore up the political power of officials who do not show accountability to their bases, let alone adhere to social justice imperatives to end war and genocide. With our union headquarters based in Michigan, we urge voters to support Listen to Michigan’s “Uncommitted” primary strategy to build critical pressure on Biden to stop enabling and arming Israel until a permanent cease-fire can actually be realized, and indeed, until Palestine is free, from the river to the sea.
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UAW Labor for Palestine—formally a working group created through the UAW Region 9A Rank-and-File Assembly—is a collective of rank-and-file members organizing across the UAW to demand an immediate end to Israel’s apartheid regime, occupation, and ongoing genocide in Palestine; to embrace the recent urgent call from Palestinian trade unions to stop arming Israel; and to act upon the UAW Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) sign-on letter by advancing Palestine solidarity priorities. We organize at the individual, shop, local, and regional levels, and we work toward ending the International UAW’s complicity in Israeli apartheid and oppression of the Palestinian people.