The United Auto Workers union has announced its support of a new cease-fire between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas as the temporary cessation of hostilities ended, comparing its action to previous stances against South African apartheid and Nazi Germany.
“I’m proud today to announce that the UAW international has joined the call for a cease-fire in Israel and Palestine,” UAW Director Brandon Mancilla said at a news conference Friday outside the White House.
“From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the Contra war, the UAW has consistently stood for justice across the globe. A labor movement that fights for social and economic justice for all workers must always stand against war and for peace,” he said.
He also said the international executive board will form a “divestment and just transition working group” to look into the history of Israel and the Palestinians, the economic ties between the union and the conflict, and study ways the union can facilitate a “just transition” for American workers from war to peace.
UAW President Shawn Fain posted Friday on X that he is proud of the union for calling for a cease-fire.
The UAW is the largest union in the country to call for a cease-fire. The American Postal Workers Union, the Union for Everyone, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, National Nurses Union, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades are some others that have joined the call.
Reports show that the UAW has signed a letter sponsored by the UFCW 3000 union, which represents over 50,000 workers in the grocery business, health care, retail, cannabis and more across Washington state, Oregon and Idaho, that has called for a cease-fire.
“We, members of the American labor movement, mourn the loss of life in Israel and Palestine,” the letter says. “We express our solidarity with all workers and our common desire for peace in Palestine and Israel, and we call on President Joe Biden and Congress to push for an immediate cease-fire and end to the siege of Gaza. We cannot bomb our way to peace. We also condemn any hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, or anyone else.”
The letter says the labor unions join the 13 members of Congress who are calling for an immediate cease-fire. It didn’t explicitly name the lawmakers, but some who have called for a cease-fire included members of Congress’ far-left “Squad.”
This call comes just a month after the UAW reached a historic agreement with the Detroit Three automakers General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram. On Wednesday, they launched a campaign to organize 13 nonunion automakers in the U.S. that would cover nearly 150,000 workers from companies such as BMW, Honda, Toyota and Volvo.