November 26, 2010

SEIU Local 73 Resolution Supporting Joe Iosbaker & Condemning FBI Raids

Whereas, on the morning of September 24, 2010, the home of Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board member, Chief Steward and union activist, and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, was raided by the FBI who confiscated crates of computers, books, cell phones, passports, children’s drawings and photos of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr;

Whereas, Joe Iosbaker is an Executive Board member of SEIU Local 73, Chief Steward and Union activist at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where he has led struggles at the University of Illinois for employee rights and pay equity;

Whereas, Stephanie Weiner, Joe Iosbaker’s wife, is a Chicago City College Adult Educator and a member of AFSCME;

Whereas, Tom Burke, a former SEIU Local 73 Executive Board member and steward has also been targeted by these raids;

Whereas, simultaneous to the same time and date, the FBI conducted raids on nine (9) other union activists in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Michigan and issued subpoenas to all 14 activists to appear at a grand jury hearing; 

Whereas, these members have not been arrested or charged with any crime, and;

Whereas, FBI spokespersons have stated that the raids were prompted by the activities of these other individuals subject to the same coordinated raid, in seeking peace and justice for workers and other oppressed people throughout the world, and;

Whereas, these persons are entitled to a presumption of innocence under the United States Constitution, and;

Whereas, every American has the constitutional right to advocate and organize for peace and change in the foreign policy of the United States, and;

Whereas, SEIU Local 73 takes note of the very recent report by the Department of Justice Inspector General that soundly criticized the FBI for improperly targeting domestic peace and antiwar groups for investigation, and;

Whereas, these FBI raids have all the earmarks of a fishing expedition and whereas the FBI has a terrible history including the Palmer Raids, the McCarthy hearings, J. Edgar Hoover, the Civil Rights movement and mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, and;

Therefore Be It Resolved that SEIU Local 73 goes on record:


  1. Publicly expressing is grave concern that these raids might be the beginning of a new and dangerous assault on the 1st Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner,
  2. That we notify the Illinois Congressional Delegation that SEIU Local 73 opposes these arbitrary and capricious FBI raids, and
  3. In light of the Inspector General’s recent critical report of FBI conduct, that SEIU Local 73 calls upon President Obama to order an immediate investigation into the circumstances, motivation and propriety of the judicial and police intimidation of our members and others.