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WFTU Statement on the Condemnable Practices of the AFL-CIO

The World Federation of Trade Unions unequivocally condemns blackmail practices employed by the AFL-CIO and the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers against the WFTU and the class trade union movement. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers is attempting with an ultimatum to enforce the revocation of the affiliation to the WFTU of Local 36, a local union in Los Angeles, with a strict prohibition of future re-affiliation.

The workers-members of the trade union Local 36 decided in 2016, with free and democratic procedures and after a vote, to rejoin the WFTU, the most historic and class-oriented international trade union organization.  Local 36 with its important decision became the first WFTU affiliate from the USA since 1949 when, after government intervention, the CIO withdrew from the WFTU and aligned itself with the policy of imperialist governments and yellow trade unions to split the world trade union movement.

We denounce before the eyes of workers in the USA and all over the world the violation of the clear, conscious, and democratically expressed will of the worker-members of Local 36 to join the ranks of the World Federation of Trade Unions and the international class-oriented trade union movement. We denounce the timeless anti-democratic practices of silencing workers and falsifying their will in order to align the trade union movement with the line of submission and reformism.

Their efforts to erase the class pole and to proclaim the universal alignment of the trade union movement with the perception of integration and assimilation into the imperialist new order, with blackmails and exclusions, are totally in vain.

Blackmails and such methods cannot strangle the objective need of workers in the base, the workplaces, and the society to fight against exploitation to meet their contemporary needs.  Despite the countless, well-orchestrated efforts of capital and imperialist states to undermine the WFTU, they did not manage to dissolve, silence, or assimilate it. Nowadays, the WFTU represents hundreds of trade unions with more than 105 million members from 133 countries of the 5 continents, holding high the banner of class struggle.

Moreover, the WFTU collective leadership, the Presidential Council is composed of trade unionists from all regions of the globe including Cliff Smith, Business Manager of Roofers and Waterproofers Local 36. In addition, the WFTU has permanent representation and consultative status in various International Organizations including the International Labour Organisation in Geneva and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York City.  The WFTU and its affiliates all over the world support the leadership and militants of the Los Angeles Roofers and Waterproofers Local 36 in this challenge.

The WFTU following the guidelines of the historic 18th World Trade Union Congress and the militant tradition of the international class-oriented trade union movement continues unwaveringly and with determination to follow the path of struggles and unity of the workers based on their own class goals.

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