Resolution to form an MLK Labor Racial Justice Taskforce
November 19, 2020
WHEREAS, the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black American man on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota sparked an anti-racist social movement the size and scale of which the United States has not seen since the Civil Rights movement; and
WHEREAS, during the 1960’s Civil Rights movement some labor organizations stood on the side of civil rights, and some did not; and
WHEREAS, the current anti-racist movement presents the modern American labor movement with the opportunity to ally with it and leverage its power to make significant gains for Black working-class people in this country, and by extension all working-class people; organize new union members around anti-racist demands and more fully represent Black workers who are currently union members; and
WHEREAS, MLK Labor is chartered to “further the cause of economic and social justice throughout the world,” (Article 1, Section 3 MLK Labor Constitution) and
WHEREAS, there can be no economic justice without racial justice; and
WHEREAS, MLK Labor’s June 4, 2020 resolution lays the groundwork for the Council’s official policy positions on the issue of policing and protests; and
WHEREAS, a more complete analysis and work plan is needed in order to truly make progress on the issue of ending racism in our workplaces, our unions, our movement, and our country;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that within 30 days MLK Labor forms a Racial Justice Taskforce that develops an anti-racist analysis on how racism has shown up within the labor movement and within MLK labor and in our broader society; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the task force will develop recommendations for adoption, change, and transformation of MLK Labor and the labor movement; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the voices of Black and POC leaders will be centered on this task force, but will also include white leaders. Taskforce members will be leaders who are committed to leading on an anti-racist agenda and willing to engage in the purpose of the task force. These people will be ready to lead change on behalf of MLK Labor. The committee will be diverse including leaders from sectors within MLK Labor, including at least one elected officer of MLK Labor, and the AFL-CIO Constituency groups of Color: A. Philip Randolph Institute, Seattle chapter; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Puget Sound chapter; the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Seattle chapter; and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Seattle chapter. The committee will also be diverse regarding identity including racial identity, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and immigration status. Leaders will have an understanding of the ways in which multiple identities interplay with each other and commitment to stand up for Black Lives and immigrants.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that during the monthly MLK Labor executive board meetings there is a report on the activities and recommendation of the racial justice task force and an educational component in each MLK Labor executive board meeting to assist in moving MLK Labor to be an anti-racist organization.