Unions Around the World Back Republic Workers

December 10, 2008

Over the five days of the Republic plant occupation in Chicago, messages of solidarity poured in from around the world. Individual workers, organizations, labor unions and federations sent emails and letters of solidarity.

From three continents, some of UE’s strong allies sent letters. The Mexican Authentic Workers Front (FAT) wrote: “The brothers and sisters who are activists in the FAT wish to express our recognition and admiration for your brave decision to occupy the plant in order to claim your most fundamental rights. We are sure that you will be an example and inspiration for many workers who today are confronting discharges, temporary shutdowns and even more drastic plant closures as a product of the economic crisis we did not provoke, but for which we are paying the consequences.

“The very important action you have taken serves to underscore that the policies of the governments is to rescue large companies from the crisis while abandoning their obligations for the well-being of workers.” The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) also sent a letter expressing its solidarity 

The Japanese labor federation Zenroren weighed in on behalf of its 1.2 million members: “Your fight is ‘our fight’ as millions of workers around the world are suffering from the economic crisis that affects more and more people every day. Though we have great distance over the Pacific Ocean, Zenroren firmly stands with you.”

"On behalf of the working class of the Philippines, the Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines) expresses its support for the struggle of the Republic workers and extends its congratulations to your victorious fight," wrote  Renato Magtubo, party chairperson and president of the Tobacco Labor Union. "Your militant struggle is a shining example to the workers of the world of how to fight and how to win in the period of globalization and in the context of the crisis."

From Europe, the CGT added their voice: “On behalf of… the oldest and biggest French labor federation, we are writing to express our support with your legitimate struggle…. YOUR FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT as millions of workers in America and France as well are suffering from the economic crisis that affects more and more people everyday…. Keep up the fight – be sure that the workers of France are with you!”


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