CBTU Executive Council International Affairs Committee
The CBTU International Affairs Committee briefs Executive
Council members on issues arising from the new global economy and a changing
political order. The committee seeks to broaden CBTU members’ understanding
of the corporate-dominated global economy and to encourage common actions by
U.S. unions and workers’ movements in other countries that will ensure
global fairness for everyone. The committee also embodies CBTU’s
long-standing commitment to international justice for people of color
plagued by racial oppression.
CBTU is justifiably proud of its progressive history
of solidarity with human rights fighters and freedom movements here and
around the world, especially in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
- CBTU condemned the Pinochet
military junta in Chile; the Abacha junta in Nigeria; and the corrupt
Duvalier regime in Haiti;
- opposed the U.S. embargo
- supported Caribbean workers
exploited by anti-union American monopolies;
- fought for diplomatic
recognition of liberated nations in Southern Africa and recognition of
Palestinians' legitimate right to a homeland in the Middle East;
- opposed the lending
policies of multilateral creditors like the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund that strangle growth in poor, debt-ridden
- helped Brazilian trade
unionists develop model language for anti-discrimination clauses to be
used in their contract negotiations;
Long before black freedom fighters finally uprooted
white minority rule throughout Southern Africa, CBTU was relentlessly
attacking the violent exploitation of black workers in that resource-rich
- In 1974, CBTU was the first
American labor organization to pass strong resolutions calling for an
economic boycott and a fundamental change in
U.S. policy toward Southern Africa.
- CBTU President Bill Lucy
was one of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement in 1984, which
conducted the most effective grassroots anti-apartheid campaign in the
U.S. with substantial participation from black workers recruited by CBTU.
- CBTU members also were
selected for the AFL-CIO delegation that participated in the first
democratic elections ever held in South Africa in 1994.
Globalization – New Trade Rules
CBTU has always monitored U.S. foreign policy to
ensure that African, Caribbean and Latin American nations received their
fair share of American aid and trade benefits, like European allies and
trading partners. Now CBTU is also actively involved in the AFL-CIO’s
"Campaign for Global Fairness" – a national, grassroots mobilization to
rewrite the rules of global economy to work for working people and to deny
China, a gross human rights violator, permanent trade preference with the
U.S. CBTU supports these objectives of the
AFL-CIO Campaign for Global Fairness:
- We want global growth and
development that works for everyone.
- We want enforceable rules
to regulate global competition in a way that values people, not just
- We want to reform the
international financial system to support progressive growth.
- We will ask Congress put a
higher priority on development aid.
- We will work for debt
relief on behalf of countries committed to democratic reforms and core