Labor says: WI must shift from military spending to sustainable economy

By Judith Le Blanc, Peace Action Field DirectorMOVE circle

A great way to end the year is to toast yet another step forward in the Move the Money Campaign.

Peace Action, national and WI are working with WAND/WILL state legislators, National Priorities Project and the WI Network for Peace and Justice to introduce a CT style state bill to create a commission to explore ways for the local economy to move from dependence on defense contracts for good paying manufacturing jobs to producing for civilian needs.

The South Central Federation of Labor in WI  passed a resolution in support of such a bill, following in the steps of the CT State Federation of AFL-CIO and the MD-DC Federation in support of the bill being worked on in MD.

The introduction of bills in other states are being explored by WAND/WILL state legislators with the support of Peace Action and National Priorities Project.

Time is now to move the money from weapons and wars to fund jobs and human services.

Regional labor council takes stand against military spending. Calls for WI Futures Commission to help transition to sustainable economy

The South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL), AFL-CIO passed a resolution this week, calling on Wisconsin to shift away from military spending towards a more sustainable economy.  SCFL includes 100 affiliated unions representing working families in south-central Wisconsin.

The resolution notes that “Wisconsin’s economy is highly dependent on military spending,” and that “Oshkosh Truck, which develops military trucks for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan … has laid off 1,200 workers in the past year due to a decrease in federal contracts.”

It supports the formation of a Futures Commission, similar to one established by Connecticut, to “help the state convert from defense spending to more sustainable job creation, such as construction, clean energy, rebuilding national infrastructure and transportation.”

SCFL President Kevin Gundlach said, “Upon my arrival in Madison over 20 years ago, one of my first jobs was working with the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.  The issues were clear.  It was time to cut the wasteful military spending and start producing domestic products and create jobs.  The campaign started locally and succeeded nationally.”

He added, “Today, we face yet again an economic system dependent on military spending that is unsustainable and has outlived its stated purpose.  It’s time we start putting in place the steps for a fair and just transition to an economy that works for all working families, for our veterans, the elderly, differently abled and our children alike.”

SCFL’s resolution is the sixth to be passed in Wisconsin.  Dane County and the city of Milwaukee previously passed Move the Money / War Dollars Home resolutions, along with the American Federation of Teachers – WI union, Madison Friends Meeting and Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay.  Nationally, more than 150 such resolutions have been passed by city councils, county boards and labor unions.

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8 Responses to Labor says: WI must shift from military spending to sustainable economy

  1. […] more peaceable (and thus sustainable) economy? It’s a good question for the new year, and some local and national organizations (including the WI Network for Peace and Justice, of which I am an individual member) are joining […]

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  4. Reblogged this on Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter and commented:
    The myth that labor blindly supports ridiculously high Pentagon spending has been debunked repeatedly. Most of the rank and file understand that Congress doesn’t fund the Pentagon to support home district jobs. They do it to “earn” defense contractor campaign contributions. Two solutions: 1) Get corporate money out of politics (e.g., MoveToAmend.org; publicly financed elections) and get Congress to begin shifting budget dollars to more sustainable jobs.

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