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Resolution Recommitting Our Work Of Becoming An Anti-racist Labor Movement

April 21, 2022

WHEREAS, the United States is grounded in a history of racism in which land was forcibly taken from Indigenous people, the prosperity relied upon the forced and stolen labor of Black and Brown people and policing was originally created to maintain the system of slavery; and

WHEREAS, for generations, workers of all races have built power together through our labor movement, and the strength of our movement comes from millions of us joining together to transform our jobs and communities; and

WHEREAS, the labor movement has a history of racism, including the exclusion of workers who are non-white male cisgender heterosexual workers within our unions who have demanded full inclusion in our unions; and

WHEREAS, over time our movement has made strides to undo systems of oppression within our unions including working to become more inclusive,  some unions within our movement have committed to becoming anti-racist organizations, and as a result of this progress in some of our unions there has been an increase of leaders in our movement who are women, Black Indigenous and People of Color, and LGBTQIA; and

WHEREAS, the MLK Labor Constitution and Bylaws describe an objective of MLK Labor as encouraging all workers to share in the full benefits of Union Organization without regard to race, creed, religion, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, disability, or national origin; and

WHEREAS, the MLK Labor Constitution and Bylaws and resolutions passed on June 4, 2020, and November 19, 2020, laid the groundwork for the Council’s official policy positions on the issues of racial justice, policing, and protests; and

WHEREAS, in 2020 MLK Labor formed an internal Racial Justice Taskforce to engage delegates, develop an anti-racist analysis of how racism has shown up in the labor movement and within our council and broader society, and develop recommendations for change and transformation of MLK Labor and the labor movement; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor has convened King County unions to address racism and discrimination faced by employees of King County; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor has stood with our community and called for local governments to invest in diversion, community services, and public welfare, and has called on law enforcement entities to engage with us on these issues; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor has stood with our community to take on issues that disproportionately impact workers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, including income inequality, climate change, and a just transition, pandemic relief, access to family leave, childcare, education for all students,  housing security, the right to organize, immigration justice, and more; and

WHEREAS, we are united by our vision for a just society: where all workers are valued and all people respected, no matter where we are from or the color of our skin; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a more just and equitable world for generations to come; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, as our Council prepares to develop our next 3-year strategic plan, today, April 20, 2022, we rededicate ourselves to dismantling racism in our unions and in our communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, after many months of planning, fundraising, and outreach, the Racial Justice Task Force will be officially convening in 2022 and MLK Labor will commit $5,000 in addition to what was previously budgeted and is asking for affiliates to donate funds to this effort.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, MLK Labor commits to helping to lead on the changes needed in the labor movement to lead on further inclusion and centering of Black Indigenous and People of Color workers in our unions and in leadership roles;

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we rededicate ourselves to building coalitions with other community groups that serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, and elevating the leadership of BIPOC leaders, learning from, and organizing in solidarity with their work;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that MLK Labor will continue to convene King County unions in ongoing work to address racism and discrimination faced by employees of King County, with a goal of working with county leadership to develop a cohesive system to respond to racism in the form of threats, harassment, discrimination, bigotry and retaliation over the course of in the next 12 months.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that MLK Labor will continue calling for local governments to invest in diversion, community services, and public welfare, including by working in coalition with community groups to lobby local governments so that budgets reflect these priorities.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all delegates and affiliates commit to leading in ways that contribute to dismantling racism in our unions, our movement, and our society.

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