[Marxism] Fw: Support Puerto Rican Teachers!

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Tue May 24 21:52:44 MDT 2005

This is related to the discussions on the AFL-CIO as a vital part of the 
workers movement.

I think the AFL-CIO needs the combination of local disaffiliations, rank and 
file upsurge, and new unions coming into being in places where they refuse 
to organize, to again become a force to be reckoned with, and not a 
corporation that cares more about conventions in Hilton Hotels than class 
struggle or even servicing their members.

Its bureaucracy is not only entrenched, but opposed to anything that smells 
like democracy or challenges their hegemony. When they fight, they fight 
dirty, and would rather see workers lose any representation, than having 
them be represented by an union and leadership that stood up to them.


----- Original Message ----- 

Please distribute to your lists (Spanish version to follow)
Favor de distribuir a sus listas (versión en español a seguir)

*NOTE: Statement by FMPR President Rafael Feliciano Hernández available 
online at http://pr.indymedia.org/news/2005/05/8245.php; UNOFFICIAL English 
translation attached and to follow at bottom of page.
*NOTA: Declaración del Preseidente de la FMPR, Rafael Feliciano Hernández, 
disponible en http://pr.indymedia.org/news/2005/05/8245.php; traducción NO 
OFICIAL al inglés adjunta y a seguir al final de la página.


For Immediate Release

Support Puerto Rican teachers!

May 24, 2005

The Puerto Rican Federation of Teachers (FMPR) declared this week that it 
rejects intentions of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO) to 
place it under "trusteeship".

The FMPR, which represents all teachers in Puerto Rico's public education 
system, is the largest public-sector union in the Caribbean outside Cuba. 
On September 29, 2004, the FMPR Delegates' Assembly voted overwhelmingly to 
break all ties with the AFT, thus ending a longstanding relationship 
catalogued by FMPR members as one of "subordination".

Following a heavily biased "investigation" of the FMPR's disaffiliation 
process, the AFT leadership has threatened to temporarily replace the FMPR's 
elected leadership with its own representatives, an action known as 
trusteeship, usually imposed on locals that exhibit poblems of corruption. 
These statements have been decried by FMPR President Rafi Feliciano as an 
attempt to recover the $2.8 million in union dues the AFT formerly "stole" 
from FMPR membership.

The sequence of events and the complete absence of any credible complaints 
of misdoing by the FMPR's leadership clearly demonstrates that AFT 
allegations are spurious, and in any case, moot, considering that the AFT 
has no authority whatsoever over the FMPR, given the latter's democratic 
decision to sever its ties to the former and to the AFL-CIO.

The Association of Latino and Latin American Students (AELLA) of the 
Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) recognizes the 
FMPR as the sole legitimate representative of Puerto Rican public school 
teachers, in accordance with Puerto Rican law and with the democratic will 
of the teachers.

We thus declare our full solidarity with Puerto Rican teacher's struggle 
against this blatantly imperialistic show of force by the AFT and AFL-CIO's 
labor aristocracy, and urge others in the CUNY system and the genuine U.S. 
labor movement to do the same.

aella at gc.cuny.edu
(212) 817-1866


Para distribución inmediata

¡Apoyemos a los maestr at s puertorriqueñ@s!

24 de mayo de 2005

La Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico  (FMPR) declaró esta semana que 
rechaza las intenciones de la American Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO) 
de imponerle "sindicatura".

La FMPR, que representa a tod at s l at s maestr at s del sistema de educación 
publica de Puerto Rico, es el sindicato de empleados públicos de mayor 
membresía en el Caribe, fuera de Cuba.  El 29 de septiembre de 2004 la 
Asamblea de Delegados del FMPR votó, por mayoría abrumadora, a favor de 
romper todos sus lazos con la AFT, poniendo así fin a una relación de muchos 
años, descrita por miembros del FMPR como una de "subordinación".

Tras una viciada "investigación" del proceso de desafiliación de la FMPR, el 
liderato de la AFT ha amenazado con reemplazar temporeramente al liderato 
electo del FMPR con sus propios representantes, una acción conocida como 
sindicatura ("trusteeship" en inglés), usualmente reservada cuando el 
liderato de un sindicato local muestra prob;lemas de corrupción.

La secuencia de los eventos, así como la absencia absoluta de acusaciones 
creíbles contra el liderato de la FM{PR demuestra claramente que las 
alegaciones de la AFT son espúreas, y en todo caso nulas, dado que la AFT no 
tiene autoridad ninguna sobre la FMPR, luego de la decisión democrática de 
esta última de romper todo lazo existence con la anterior y con la AFL-CIO.

La Asociación de Estudiantes Latinos y Latino Americanos (AELLA) del Centro 
de Estudios Graduados de la Universidad de la Ciudad de Nueva York (CUNY) 
reconoce a la FMPR como única representante legítima de l at s maestr at s del 
sistema de educación pública de Puerto Rico, de acuerdo con las leyes de 
Puerto Rico y la voluntad democrática de l at s maestr at s.

Por tanto, declaramos nuestra solidaridad total con la lucha de l at s maestr at s 
puertorriqueñ@s contra este burdo ejemplo de imperialismo por parte de la 
aristocracia sindical de la AFT y AFL-CIO, y llamamos a otras organizaciones 
en el systema CUNY y el genuino movimiento sindical estadounidense a hacer 
lo mismo.

aella at gc.cuny.edu
(212) 817-1866


Thursday, May 19 2005


The Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico repudiates the intentions of the 
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to impose a trusteeship on our union. 
We do not recognize legal nor moral authority to the leadership of that 
pro-management organization to take part in the internal issues of the 
Federation of Teachers. The Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico is an 
independent union that by overwhelming majority in our Assembly of 
Delegates, on 29 of September of 2004, broke all bonds with the AFT, ending 
the ominous relation of subordination that existed for years. The vitiated 
investigation made by the leadership of the AFT and the threat of 
trusteeship, is another maneuver of that discredited union bureaucracy that 
tries to recover the its lost power in the Federation of Teachers, 
particularly, the $2.8 million dollars that it robbed, bleeding the coffers 
of our union.

The unfounded accusations against our leadership, by use of a small group of 
traitors that still renders loyalty to the AFT, are smokescreens to justify 
the assault against the structures of the Federation. That corrupt and 
pro-management leadership of the AFT is the same one that did not say 
anything when the leaders of the AFT in Washington and Miami robbed the 
Federation's funds, living like tycoons, with the knowledge and support of 
the leadership on the AFT at the national level.  That same leadership kept 
silence and allowed the sacking of million dollars of the Health Plan of the 
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico. It never investigated anything or 
blamed anyone, not withstanding that it knew everything that was going on. 
Now, supported by false testimonies of the unscrupulous ones that tore the 
prestige of the Federation of Teachers when they were in power, comes to 
accuse the actual leadership, which has strengthened the union and brought 
back its prestige.

The trusteeship threat is a desperate measure.  The pro-management 
leadership of the AFT knows that the present leadership of the Federation of 
Teachers has managed to fortify the union. When we disaffiliated from that 
North American union, we increased our financial standing, using millions 
that they robbed us to provide better services to our members. We fulfilled 
an historical claim of our membership that the previous presidents did not 
heed, and even stepped all over.

Now that the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico has been strengthened, 
the AFT has decided to declare the war on us to try to obtain by force that 
which it was not able to obtain by democratic mechanisms. The conspiracy of 
the AFT and its eagerness to assault by force the direction of the 
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico is not an isolated fact, but is part 
of a systematic campaign that began from the same day in which we gained the 
elections and we began to clean and to put the house in order. It is evident 
that the leaders of the AFT are not concerned by the damage that they can 
cause to the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico.  In order to recapture 
their terrain they prefer to destroy the Federation and to leave all 
teachers of Puerto Rico without its only instrument of struggle.  The fact 
that the threat takes place in the eve of the negotiation of the Collective 
Agreement is irrefutable evidence of the pro-managerial aims of the AFT.  By 
attacking the Federation of Teachers at this moment, they are putting in 
serious risk the negotiation of the new Collective Agreement and our 
aspiration to an educational system of excellence.  Nobody must be deceived: 
trusteeship would mean the destruction of the Federation of Teachers of 
Puerto Rico and we are not going it to allow it.

We make an urgent call to the leaders, delegates and to the members of the 
Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico to stay alert and ready to defend our 
instrument of struggle, independently of whatever differences that we have 
between ourselves.  We must unite to face the attempt of trusteeship with 
all the forces and resources that we have at hand, because what is at stake 
is the survival of the Federation of Teachers.  We must let the AFT and the 
traitors that support it, that if they try to impose the trusteeship on us, 
we are going to defend the union at all costs, without discarding any 
particular form or instrument of defense.  We also know that the trusteeship 
will be understood as a declaration of war against all the union 
organizations in Puerto Rico, political and social, that share similar 
principles with the Federation of Teachers, that reject dues leeches, worker 
sellouts and corrupted individuals of the AFT and the AFL-CIO.  We warned 
the corrupt individuals to be careful of the pro-management actions that 
they are taking.  Do not play with fire because fire burns!  Today more than 
ever: My loyalty with the Federation of Teachers! There is no triumph 
without struggle; nor struggles without sacrifice!

Rafael Feliciano Hernandez
President, Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico

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