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Sign Our Letter to UAW International Protesting UAW 2865's Anti-Israel, Anti-Worker Actions

We have prepared a letter to UAW International President Dennis Williams protesting our local leadership's activities in support of the BDS Movement. (See below for the full text.) Sign the letter online today to show that union members do not support these anti-Israel, anti-worker actions.

Sign the UAW letter online!
Note: We will not disclose your name until we reach a threshold number of signatures. We will then send the letter with the full list of signatures to UAW International (with our local Executive Board CC-ed) and make the letter available online for others to sign.
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Dennis Williams
International President
United Autoworkers Union
 
 
Dear President Williams,
 
We are members of the UAW Local 2865 and we are writing to inform you about recent actions by the leadership of our local union that raise very serious questions about the direction of our union, including conduct that we believe violates the core principals of the trade union movement, our Union’s constitution, and a number of state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin and religion.
 
This summer the Executive Board of Local 2865 announced its intention to join the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel and the “Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. (The details of the global BDS movement can be found at http://www.bdsmovement.net.) While the Executive Board has announced that it intends to take the issue to a vote of the membership, it has already taken formal action to support BDS activities.
 
The central goal of the Global BDS Campaign, which our Executive Board now supports, is to boycott and divest from companies that do business in Israel. Many of the targeted companies are unionized. Indeed, several are represented by our very own union, including Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, and Raytheon. Our leadership is encouraging our brothers and sisters, the UC Regents, and all consumers not to buy products from these companies and to divest UAW pension funds and UC investments from Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon. These efforts aim to put financial pressure on these companies which will harm their workers and our fellow union members. We are outraged that our UC Academic Worker’s Union would boycott another employer represented by our own union or any other union for that matter. It violates the fundamental principles and ethics of the trade union movement and is antithetical to everything our union stands for. It is plainly wrong for UAW Local 2865 to support a boycott of Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, and Raytheon products produced under our UAW contract.
 
We don’t have to tell you that our UC Academic Workers boycott is being driven by graduate students, like ourselves, who are privileged to be entering academic and other fields and will only be members of Local 2865 while they are in graduate school. Our brothers and sisters that work for Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, and Raytheon need to support their families for a lifetime in their jobs. Our privileged union leaders are playing armchair revolutionaries with no regard or concern for the well-being of rank and file members of this union. We are outraged at these violations of the most basic concept of what it means to be a union member. Our leadership is working to harm our fellow union brothers and sisters.
 
Additionally, in citing coordination with the global BDS movement, our local leadership also calls for the “academic and cultural” boycott of Israel, which can be used to to prohibit students from Israeli Universities from attending or working at the University of California. Therefore, UAW Local 2865 is endorsing a policy that could effectively bar people with Israeli citizenship from joining the union. We believe that this constitutes discrimination on the basis of national origin and religion in violation of federal and state civil rights laws. In addition to the appalling nature of this discriminatory conduct, we are very concerned that our leadership will enmesh Local 2865 in a cross-fire of costly legal actions —destroying our own union and thus our student worker protections from the inside out.
 
To be clear, we believe that Israelis and Palestinians have a right to live lives in peace and BDS additionally works against this purpose.
 
We call upon the International United Autoworkers Union to step in and stop this effort from hurting our fellow trade union brothers and sisters and from hurting our very own local union. We deserve to have a functional union which works to protect us on the job and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in their jobs—not to try to harm the companies they work for, thereby harming them. We deserve a union that fights for fair pay and fair treatment and we need a strong union to represent our interests--not a local leadership pursuing pet causes with no direct or indirect impact on our daily lives. Our membership dues are being wasted.
 
Our leadership is committed to holding a general membership vote to ratify their call to join the BDS movement. Efforts to internally dissuade the leadership have been met with silence or a clear statement that a general vote on the position will nonetheless take place. Our leadership has not responded to requests for minutes from prior meetings, has been evasive about when the general membership vote will be held, and has not shared what the wording of the actual proposal will be. According to our bylaws, they only need to share this information seven days before the vote.
 
Moreover, we are currently in touch with our brothers and sisters at Caterpillar and they are organizing to write a petition letter of their own to your office. We are also reaching out to the unions which protect our brothers and sisters at General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and all the other unionized companies our local’s leadership wants to boycott, divest from, or sanction to seek their solidarity in trying to end this attack on their jobs as well.
 
We need your help and guidance to stop this action from moving forward.
 
In Solidarity,
Informed Grads
[Your signature here]
 
CC: Executive Board, UAW 2865
Sign the UAW letter online!
Informed Grads, All rights reserved.


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