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War Mythbusters

How is war a union issue?

U.S. interventions do not benefit working people both here and abroad. One main role for our unions is to win collective bargaining agreements that protect and advance our members’ pay, benefits, job protection, and other terms and conditions of employment. But we must also address broader issues of how our tax money is spent, especially issues of war.

The record breaking war budgets take tens of billions of dollars from our members and taxpayers that would be better directed to public education, affordable housing, universal healthcare and other pressing public goods under attack in the state budget. The war machine takes up about 47 percent of our income tax money in the federal budget. We spent more than the next fourteen countries’ military spending combined.

It is always working people who suffer from these wars as the corporate fat cats continue to enrich themselves on military contracts. All union members have an interest in a peaceful world in which the United States plays a positive role toward economic and social justice for people in this country and throughout the world. As working people, we can fight for that kind of world.

Wouldn’t pulling money from the war budget mean less jobs?

Dollar for dollar, military spending creates fewer jobs than spending on public education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects. We need money for good jobs, not for unnecessary wars. Workers have never benefited from U.S. military power.

Workers whose jobs are impacted by this reallocation of federal funds should be guaranteed a just transition, including income guarantees, retraining, early retirement without reduction of benefits, relocation allowances and other forms of support.

Does USLAW support our troops?

Without question. Our members and the working class at large are the soldiers, sailors, and marines deployed in these wars. We owe it to them and their families to defend their interests by ending these wars now and bringing all the troops home, and making sure there are adequate budget resources to care for them on their return.

Don’t we need war to protect the American people from future terrorist attacks?

Military action, with the inevitable “collateral damage” of civilian casualties and many refugees, only creates more U.S. enemies and terrorist fighters than we kill. Our country will be more secure if we negotiate withdrawal of our forces, help exploited peoples rebuild their country, and invest the vast sums now spent there to create jobs, provide healthcare, fully fund education and solve our many problems here at home. There is no military solution to terrorism.

Isn’t it good to make war to spread democracy?

American claims to be the champion of democracy ring hollow in much of the world. The United States elites have a long history of involvement in the overthrow of democratically elected governments around the world. The U.S. is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, a country that is far from a democracy, and has friendly relations with many dictators when it suits U.S. corporate interests. In Iraq and Afghanistan, as in other cases of military occupation, the presence of foreign troops distorts the local political process and undermines democracy. Military occupation damages the institutions of civil society and supports corrupt governments with tenuous ties to their people. In addition, the wars and occupation have undermined democracy and civil liberties in the United States. They have brought us the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, military tribunals for U.S. citizens, and war reporters restricted to military embeds.

Why should my union affiliate with USLAW?

Just like the reason we join unions, we’re stronger together through our organizations. USLAW is independently funded exclusively through annual union affiliation dues, individual rank-and-file members and small donations from its supporters. We takes no funds from the government, state department or corporations. This allows for us to be the genuine voice for US working people and our unions.  Joining and building USLAW allows us to speak in one powerful, collective voice that stands in solidarity with workers around the world.