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Thursday, May 19 2005
The Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico repudiates the intentions of the
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to impose a trusteeship on our union.
We do not recognize legal nor moral authority to the leadership of that
pro-management organization to take part in the internal issues of the
Federation of Teachers. The Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico is an
independent union that by overwhelming majority in our Assembly of
Delegates, on 29 of September of 2004, broke all bonds with the AFT, ending
the ominous relation of subordination that existed for years. The vitiated
investigation made by the leadership of the AFT and the threat of
trusteeship, is another maneuver of that discredited union bureaucracy that
tries to recover the its lost power in the Federation of Teachers,
particularly, the $2.8 million dollars that it robbed, bleeding the coffers
of our union. 

The unfounded accusations against our leadership, by use of a small group of
traitors that still renders loyalty to the AFT, are smokescreens to justify
the assault against the structures of the Federation. That corrupt and
pro-management leadership of the AFT is the same one that did not say
anything when the leaders of the AFT in Washington and Miami robbed the
Federation¹s funds, living like tycoons, with the knowledge and support of
the leadership on the AFT at the national level.  That same leadership kept
silence and allowed the sacking of million dollars of the Health Plan of the
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico. It never investigated anything or
blamed anyone, not withstanding that it knew everything that was going on.
Now, supported by false testimonies of the unscrupulous ones that tore the
prestige of the Federation of Teachers when they were in power, comes to
accuse the actual leadership, which has strengthened the union and brought
back its prestige. 

The trusteeship threat is a desperate measure.  The pro-management
leadership of the AFT knows that the present leadership of the Federation of
Teachers has managed to fortify the union. When we disaffiliated from that
North American union, we increased our financial standing, using millions
that they robbed us to provide better services to our members. We fulfilled
an historical claim of our membership that the previous presidents did not
heed, and even stepped all over.

Now that the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico has been strengthened,
the AFT has decided to declare the war on us to try to obtain by force that
which it was not able to obtain by democratic mechanisms. The conspiracy of
the AFT and its eagerness to assault by force the direction of the
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico is not an isolated fact, but is part
of a systematic campaign that began from the same day in which we gained the
elections and we began to clean and to put the house in order. It is evident
that the leaders of the AFT are not concerned by the damage that they can
cause to the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico.  In order to recapture
their terrain they prefer to destroy the Federation and to leave all
teachers of Puerto Rico without its only instrument of struggle.  The fact
that the threat takes place in the eve of the negotiation of the Collective
Agreement is irrefutable evidence of the pro-managerial aims of the AFT.  By
attacking the Federation of Teachers at this moment, they are putting in
serious risk the negotiation of the new Collective Agreement and our
aspiration to an educational system of excellence.  Nobody must be deceived:
trusteeship would mean the destruction of the Federation of Teachers of
Puerto Rico and we are not going it to allow it.

We make an urgent call to the leaders, delegates and to the members of the
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico to stay alert and ready to defend our
instrument of struggle, independently of whatever differences that we have
between ourselves.  We must unite to face the attempt of trusteeship with
all the forces and resources that we have at hand, because what is at stake
is the survival of the Federation of Teachers.  We must let the AFT and the
traitors that support it, that if they try to impose the trusteeship on us,
we are going to defend the union at all costs, without discarding any
particular form or instrument of defense.  We also know that the trusteeship
will be understood as a declaration of war against all the union
organizations in Puerto Rico, political and social, that share similar
principles with the Federation of Teachers, that reject dues leeches, worker
sellouts and corrupted individuals of the AFT and the AFL-CIO.  We warned
the corrupt individuals to be careful of the pro-management actions that
they are taking.  Do not play with fire because fire burns!  Today more than
ever: My loyalty with the Federation of Teachers! There is no triumph
without struggle; nor struggles without sacrifice!

Rafael Feliciano Hernandez
President, Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico


FMPR website: www.fmprlucha.org

English speaking contact: Luis Santiago - luismsantiago_1@hotmail.com

This message sent by: Carlos Quirós, Instituto Laboral de Educación Sindical
(ILES) cquiros@igc.org

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