Solidarity both at home and abroad has been a central tenet of our work and lies at the heart of our policy of peace and international cooperation. 1199 was among the first unions to protest the U.S. war against Vietnam and Indochina. We stood in opposition to U.S. support for anti-democratic Contras forces in Central America and we were among the first unions to oppose the U.S. war in Iraq in 2003.
Throughout the 1980s, our union was at the forefront of the international campaign to bring down the system of apartheid in South Africa, and, in 1990, our union’s president, Dennis Rivera, was part of a delegation that traveled to South Africa to mark the historic release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
In 2001, Rivera and attorney Robert Kennedy Jr. were arrested for civil disobedience in response to an action to prevent the U.S. Navy from shelling the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Our union has also contributed resources and volunteers toward humanitarian aid efforts in the aftermath of recent natural disasters such as those in Haiti and the Philippines.