The peak state union body Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) last week passed a strong motion calling for “non-violent resistance through the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign against Israel to bring about an end to the illegal occupation.” The QCU endorsed actions such as a consumer boycott of Israeli goods, a consumer boycott of companies profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation, and vowed to pursue divestment from Israeli companies, on ethical grounds, by reviewing its own investment portfolio and the investments of union superannuation funds. The QCU also called on the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and Australian Labor Party (ALP) “to show genuine support for a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.” Download the full text of the QCU motion on the AUSPalestine NEWS page.
Many Australian trade unions are choosing to actively demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinian people by heeding the non-violent call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Six (6) Australian state and regional labour councils, and 15 Australian trade unions, have now passed positive policies calling for a peaceful and just resolution of the Palestine/Israel conflict, recalling the best traditions of unions supporting the historic struggles for peace, justice and independence in countries such as South Africa, Vietnam and East Timor.
A reminder to our supporters that the ACTU’s overseas aid agency, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, has announced its next Study Tour to the Middle East, to go in April 2011. Many Australian unions actively support APHEDA’s work in the Middle East, and this will be a prime opportunity for your union to send a delegate to learn about the important humanitarian work that your union’s aid agency does with Palestinian refugees. If you want a relaxed sight-seeing holiday, this study tour is not for you; if you are serious about understanding the situation of Palestinian workers, if you believe that “peace is union business”, and you are prepared to report back to workers in Australia, then you should start planning. Full details about the April 2011 Middle East Study Tour are available on the Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA website, or via the AUSPalestine EVENTS page. Get in now! Tour registrations are due next week, 30 November 2010!