The Labor Education Project on AFL-CIO International Operations (LEPAIO), an international group of labor activists, scholars, and journalists will hold two actionsto commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the horrific 1973 military coup in Chile. September 11, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew the democratically elected coalition government of Salvador Allende and ushered in a military dictatorship led by Army General Augusto Pinochet.
The coup and subsequent brutal dictatorship were aided and supported by the US government of Richard Nixon and the AFL-CIO of George Meany.The legacy of that regime remains today in Chile through the brutal privatization of public pensions and services as well as continuing repression of Chilean unionists, workers, activists, and journalists.
The coup was actively supported by the American Institute of Free Labor Development (AIFLD) an AFL-CIO office largely funded by the US government. Today, the AFL-CIO leadership remains silent about the Chilean coup and continues to cover up its role. They refuse to open their records or admit their responsibility in the jailing, torture, and murder of thousands of trade unionists and their families.
The AFL-CIO leadership continues to collaborate and accept some $75 million annually from the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for the operation of AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center, the revamped incarnation of its international operations office. The Solidarity Center operates in 62 countries yet has never fully and honestly reported to its AFL-CIO affiliates or membership about its activities.
LEPAIO demands the following:
- AFL-CIO must open its books to the scrutiny of all US workers, unionists, and labor researchers and truth diggers.
- AFL-CIO must apologize to Chilean workers and people for its role in the coup and subsequent political nightmare in Chile and compensate the families of murdered and imprisoned workers.
- AFL-CIO must immediately stop taking US Government funding, including its $75 million dollar appropriation to fund its Solidarity Center and begin to build real direct solidarity with workers in Chile and around the world.
To further these demands LEPAIO is holding an educational conference at the M. L. King Jr. Memorial Library (9th and G Sts, NW) in Washington DC on September 10 (1:30 – 4:30PM, Conference Room 401). The following day (Sept 11 at 12 Noon) a public rally in front of the AFL-CIO headquarters (16th St, NW between H and I) to make these demands will be held. All are welcome. For more info go to https://aflcio-int.education or email [email protected]or call Thomas 202/365-7297.