The U.S. Labor Voices Opposing Military Aid to Israel

This article was jointly produced by Workday Magazine and In These Times. As the Israeli military relentlessly bombards 2.4 million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and a ground invasion appears imminent, one storied, national union — the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) — is opposing U.S. military aid for the state of Israel whose assault on the besieged strip has already taken the lives of at least 1,800 Palestinians (a number that is quickly rising) and displaced more than 420,000 others. The Israeli government’s overwhelming violence comes on the heels of a surprise attack by Hamas militants on October 7 when 150 were taken hostage and more than 1,300 people, almost entirely Israelis, were killed. “We certainly don’t support any killing, whether it’s in the form of bombs, guns, starving people through blockades, or through apartheid, from any side,” says Andrew Dinkelaker, the UE’s general secretary treasurer. ​“U.S. military aid going in is pouring gasoline onto a fire. It encourages that there be military solutions, and military solutions will get more people killed.”

In opposing U.S. military aid to Israel, the UE — along with some organizers, elected representatives and rank-and-file workers from other unions, as well as just a few progressive members of Congress like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D.-Mich.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D.-Mo.) — is striking in a U.S. political climate defined by unqualified bipartisan support for Israel’s newly formed, hawkish ​“unity” government as it uses white phosphorus and cuts off fuel, food, water and electricity to Gaza’s entire population, which is about half children. 

A video has been circulating of Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying, ​“We are fighting against human animals.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Friday, ​“It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible.

Republicans Are Using Anti-China Rhetoric to Undercut Striking UAW Workers’ Demands

​​This article is a joint publication of Workday Magazine and In These Times. Three and a half weeks into the United Auto Workers’ (UAW) stand-up strike against the Big Three — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — the GOP is coalescing around a talking point: that the autoworkers’ real enemy is China. The argument goes something like this: Biden’s federal policies are driving up electric vehicle production, which requires the import of components, like batteries, from China. This process, according to Republicans, is not only enriching an official U.S. rival, but also threatening U.S. jobs. This line of thinking fits perfect for a staunchly anti-union Republican Party, because it allows its purveyors to look like they are standing with striking workers, without supporting any of their actual demands, like a 36% pay increase, an end to tiers, stopping the abuse of temporary workers, cost-of-living adjustments and more paid time off.

UAW’s “Element of Surprise” Strike Appears to Be Working

This article is a joint publication of Workday Magazine and In These Times. Workers walked off their shifts on September 14 at midnight to cheering crowds, as the United Auto Workers launched its first simultaneous strike against the ​“Big Three” automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. The initial work stoppages were not company-wide, but instead targeted at three locations: GM’s Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, Stellantis’ Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, and Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., just outside Detroit. The plants employ some 12,700 of the roughly 150,000 UAW members who work for the Big Three. The strike strategy, developed under the leadership of reform challenger Shawn Fain, was defined by its element of surprise.