Why We Picketed NY AFL-CIO Pres Hughes


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Most of us are working people and big supporters of unions so why would we picket the head of the New York AFL-CIO when he receives a "Peace Medal"? It's because he's being given an award at an Israel Bonds dinner and Israel Bonds are one of the ways Israel pays for its Jewish-superiority system, its Wall around Palestinian areas, its Jewish-only roads, etc. etc. Unions representing Palestinian workers have called for labor unions to sell off Israel Bonds. Several score U.S. unionists have signed onto a letter to Hughes asking him to reject the Bonds award.

Many U.S. unions own Israel Bonds. The total amount is kept private, undoubtedly because members would be outraged if they knew that their dues invested in Israel when workers in the U.S. are desperate for jobs. Estimates in union bond ownership is in the hundreds of millions. That's not all. State union pension money is often invested in Israel Bonds by State Treasurers with no protest (or even open support) by union officials.

The protest of Dennis Hughes was Monday, June 13 [2011] at Manhattan at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway (at 36th St)

What Hughes has done for Israel Bonds isn't easily dug up. But in researching one discovers that Dennis Hughes has other curious friends for a labor leader. From 2004 to 2010 he was a Director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and from 2009-2010 he was actually its Chairman. He sat with the likes of General Electric Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt and J.P. Morgan Chase Chief James Dimon. Was this something he did for labor or for himself? Can anyone name one campaign that he led as Fed Chairman that benefited working people? After all the period of 2004-2010 was the time of the great real estate bubble and collapse when the NY Fed (the most important of the Federal banks) was blind to the mountain of risky investments being made by Wall Street. CNN reports $7.7 trillion lost in household wealthmostly due to the crash in housing value. His Israeli Bonds friends are no more trustworthy than his banker friends. Picket Dennis Hughes.

Occupied Palestine, 4 May 2011 - In commemoration of the first of May - a day of workers struggle and international solidarity - the first Palestinian trade union conference for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) was held in Ramallah on 30 April 2011, organized by almost the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement, including federations, professional unions, and trade union blocks representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian political parties. The conference marked a historic event: the formation of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) as the largest coalition of the Palestinian trade union movement. PTUC-BDS will provide the most representative Palestinian reference for international trade unions, promoting their support for and endorsement of the BDS Call, launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005, guided by the guidelines and principles adopted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), of which PTUC-BDS has become a key component.

Among other measure the group specifically called for reviewing pension fund investments with the purpose of divesting from Israel Bonds and all Israeli and international companies and institutions complicit in Israel's occupation, colonization and apartheid, For the whole statement see Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS