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LOCAL Commentary :: International Relations : Labor

Key Recent Articles on AFL-CIO Foreign Policy

Key articles on AFL-CIO Foreign Policy that are availble on the Net. These are part of the Campaign to Build Genuine International Labor Solidarity. This list will be updated as additional material is published (so includes materials AFTER the initial July 10, 2005 publication date).
There is an on-going debate within the AFL-CIO about the future of the labor movement. Most of this debate has taken place among top-level leaders, although a growing number of efforts by rank-and-file oriented organizations and by labor activists are starting to develop. One of the areas is around AFL-CIO foreign policy. With the quadrennial AFL-CIO Convention taking place in Chicago from July 25-28, 2005, I thought it might be helpful to provide background understanding and information to interested people.

I am interested in opportunites to speak/be interviewed around these developments.

There will be a demonstration at Navy Pier on Sunday, July 24 at 4 pm to support those inside the Convention in their efforts to pass the "Build Unity and Trust With Workers Worldwide" Resolution specifically, and to generally support the efforts transform the AFL-CIO foreign policy program into genuine international labor solidarity.


Key recent articles on AFL-CIO Foreign Policy:

Good historical overview on AFL-CIO foreign policy, with a special focus on period since 1995: "Labor Imperialism Redux?: The AFL-CIO's Foreign Policy Since 1995" by Kim Scipes, Monthly Review, May 2005. On-line (with extensive references, many downloadable) at www.monthlyreview.org/0505scipes.htm .

Companion piece to the above article, which focuses on the relationship between the AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED): "An Unholy Alliance: The AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela" by Kim Scipes, Z Net, July 10, 2005. On-line at www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm .

For an article that argues the need to distance the labor movement from the Empire, see Kim Scipes, "Free Labor from the Empire: Breaking the NED-Solidarity Center Connection." MR Zine, July 19. 2005 at mrzine.monthlyreview.org/scipes190705.html .

For an article that calls for the establishment of a "truth commission" to examine the AFL-CIO's foreign operations, see Jeff Crosby, "A 'Truth Commission' for AFL's Foreign Policy" at www.labornotes.org/archives/2005/07/articles/a.shtml .

For report on AFL-CIO efforts in Venezuela, in which they actively intervened in events that led to the attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez in April 2002, see "AFL-CIO in Venezuela: Deja Vu All Over Again," Kim Scipes, Labor Notes, April 2004 (on line at www.labornotes.org/archives/2004/04/articles/e.html .)

For the best account of the actual events during the coup attempt, see "Crisis in Venezuela: The Remarkable Fall and Rise of Hugo Chavez" by Steve Ellner and Fred Rosen. NACLA Report on the Americas, July/August, 2002. (On-line at www.nacla.org/art_display.php.)

For on-line copies of Solidarity Center, Caracus report to National Endowment for Democracy, which reports their active involvement in bringing together CTV (Center of Venezuelan Workers) and FEDECAMARAS (business coalition)--two key leading forces in the coup--see www.venezuelafoia.info/ctva1.html and www.venezuelafoia.info/ctva2.html .

For a good recent account of AFL-CIO activities in Venezuela, see Lee Sustar's "Revolution and Counter-revolution in Venezuela: Assessing the Role of the AFL-CIO." (On-line at www.selvesandothers.org/article10406.html .

For a report on passage of "Build Unity and Trust With Workers Worldwide" by California AFL-CIO, see "California AFL-CIO Rebukes labor's National Level Foreign Policy Leaders" by Kim Scipes, Labor Notes, September 2004. On line at www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php .

The text of "Build Unity and Trust" is posted on-line at www.labournet.net/world/0407/hirsch.html .

For Fred Hirsch's recent speech in Geneva, see "AFL-CIO Foreign Policy in Venezuela," June 12, 2005. On-line at www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm .

For recent developments, see "Are AFL-CIO Foreign Policy Leaders Engaging in Dirty Tricks? Foreign Policy Efforts Being Challenged" by Kim Scipes. ZNet, June 23, 2005. (Online at www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm .

See also Harry Kelber, "90% of Solidarity Center's Annual Budget Comes from Payoffs by the US Government," Labor Talk for June 29, 2005, The Labor Educator (On-line at www.laboreducator.org/solcenter.htm .)

For another general look at AFL-CIO foreign policy, but with a specific look at what Labor is doing in China, see Lee Siu Hin, "Labor's China Syndrome: AFL-CIO, Solidarity Center, NED and the Neocons--The Unholy Alliance" at www.actionla.org/features/view.php .

Also, for a final account of the recent efforts to get the "Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide" resolution passed by the AFL-CIO, see my August 2 piece on ZNet, "AFL-CIO Foreign Policy: Final Report from the Convention" at www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm .


Additional resources can be found on my website at Purdue University North Central: http//faculty.pnc.edu/kscipes/LaborBib.htm . This on-line "Current Labor Issues" bibliography includs material on AFL-CIO foreign policy as well as a wide range of labor activist/engaged academic writings.
 
 

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