May 6, 2011 Volume 112 Number 9

Oregon labor leaders to Congress: end the war

A group of 13 Oregon labor leaders sent a tax-day letter to the state's congressional delegation April 18 urging them to take aggressive action towards ending the costly war in Afghanistan.

"Oregonians have already spent more than $3 billion on the war, and there is no end in sight," the letter said. "President Obama's proposed 2012 budget includes devastating cuts that impact the poor and working class — from low income home heating assistance to community service block grants to Pell grants — while allocating another $107 billion to continue the war in Afghanistan."

The letter said "It is unconscionable to balance the budget on the backs of working people in order to fund a war that isn't making Americans safer. We urge you to take action to pressure the administration to end the war, including co-sponsoring and voting for legislation to end the war and speaking out forcefully for a new approach."

The letter was signed by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain; Gary Gillespie, president of Oregon AFSCME Council 75; Linda Burgin, president, and Heather Conroy, executive director, Service Employees Local 503; Madelyn Elder, president, Communication Workers of America Local 7901; Ken Saether, president, CWA Local 7906; Robert Petroff, president, Oregon Machinists Council; Jonathan Hunt, president-business representative, Amalgamated Transit Union Division 757; Mike Richards, executive secretary-treasurer, Office and Professional Employees Local 11; Gregory A. Pallesen, vice president, Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers; Ryan Takas, union rep, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 5; Margaret Butler, director, Portland Jobs with Justice; Jim Alexander, chair, Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice; and Richard Sanders, executive director, Oregon Education Association.

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