VOICES FROM THE STREETS OF SEATTLE
VOICES FROM THE STREETS OF SEATTLE
Following are brief excerpts from statements by trade unionists
participating in the anti-WTO actions in Seattle at the end of
first sections contains excerpts from interviews with
rank-and-file trade unionists conducted by Labor Video Project
producer Steve Zeltzer at the November 30 labor demonstration.
second segment contains brief excerpts from presentations by
of the United Steel Workers of America at a November 29 forum
"Global Union Solidarity."
Bob (member of ILWU Local 19)
fate is with the working people of the world.
Irene (member of AFSME from Ohio, carrying a picket sign that
reads: "Stop Privatization" while union delegation
chants "Hey, Hey,
Ho, Ho, the WTO Has Got to go!")
a labor family. Labor has to stick together. People are finally
standing up to the corporations. It's about us, not profits.
kids, our retirees. This is very exciting.
are we here? Because globalization is changing all the rules
laws. The WTO will walk all over everything we have won -- our
our security. We're being swallowed up by corporate greed.
Ron (UAW Local 509 Ford worker)
of us here from our Local are concerned about corporate greed;
the greedy are getting greedier.
a look at NAFTA. What a lot of bull shit. They promised a lot.
Well, what did we get? Screwed. They are all just a bunch of
will be the future of my children and their children if all the
good jobs are taken out of this country. We risk losing everything
we've gained over the past 100 years. Workers aren't getting
represented in any fair way.
Juan (Steelworker from New Mexico)
drove 1400 miles over the past two days with all our families.
We've seen globalization at work in the maquiladora sector along
are being exploited in the maquiladoras. Companies are moving
to Juarez [Mexico]. No one is benefiting from this except the
corporations, at the expense of the people. Workers on both sides
the border are getting screwed.
Corporation supports the WTO. This way they can do away with
our safety and regulations. They can get around our environmental
laws. People died for the rights we have now. We've got to fight
keep them. No organization is more harmful today than the WTO.
Frank (farmer from North Dakota)
has only benefited the corporations. Clinton and now Al Gore,
they are all for NAFTA, GATT and the WTO. I don't like being
pickle. Gore vs. GW Bush! I don't like it at all.
I come from, people are real concerned. Farmers are being
destroyed. If we could vote on whether or not we should have
I can tell you this much: The WTO would be defeated in North
happening is a spin to the bottom, not to the top, as we were
Jim (member of the Santa Cruz., Calif., Labor Council)
we are having a success. More people are going to be talking
about the WTO and globalization from now on. What's also clear
that labor has to have its own party. A Labor Party is long overdue.
We need a party that is separate from the Democratic Party.
politicians are giving our country away. We need to get a
baseball bat and drag the corporations out in the street and
them, "Okay," what's this about taking our jobs overseas?"
FROM STEELWORKERS' RALLY FOR GLOBAL UNION SOLIDARITY
Dave Foster (President, District 11, United Steel Workers of
organization is more harmful to our safety net - in fact, to
everything he have fought for - than is the WTO.
Gerry Fernandez (International Relations of the United Steel
Workers of America, speaking at the November 29th Forum on Global
Union Solidarity sponsored by the USWA)
need international labor solidarity. The fact of the matter is
that international solidarity works.
WTO talks about core labor standards. They say we should support
the incorporation of the ILO core conventions into the WTO. They
about social clauses, social mandates, labor standards.
me tell you about the ILO: Unions have won only two cases in
ILO over the past 18 years. We can't count on these folks, just
can't count on the WTO. The WTO is run by the corporations.
only thing we can count on is ourselves.
the global corporate economy, we can no longer win on the picket
line. We have corporations - and politicians - who close down
factories and move overseas if we strike. These same folks push
striker replacement. These are the people who run the WTO.
they really going to give us a seat at the WTO table? I say they
we have a strike here, we need to have actions in 20 countries
or more. We have to internationalize our labor movement.