30 November 2011 (UK): Boycott Israel campaign grows among UK unions, despite Zionist backlash
Over the last few years, UK trade unions have expressed solidarity with Palestine more and more explicitly. Union after union has overturned a previous orthodoxy of balance between “two sides” when it comes to policy on Israel and the Palestinians. So many unions have now passed motions in support of the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that even the often conservative Trades Union Congress (TUC) has been compelled to change policy.
[An important article analysing the state of the debate in the UK union movement – AUSPalestine]
22 July 2011 (Israel): Unions around the world send support to striking Palestinian workers at Sal’it Quarry
As the Palestinian workers at Sal’it Quarry in the occupied West Bank enter their second month of strike over an unsigned collective agreement, solidarity messages from Australia, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Italy arrive to the Israeli trade union, WAC-Ma’an, looking after their case.
14 July 2011 (USA): U.S. Trade Union Statement in Support of Palestinian Call for Full and Immediate Arms Embargo Against Apartheid Israel
“…Whereas, such solidarity stands in the proud tradition of West Coast dock-workers who refused to handle cargo for Nazi Germany (1934) and fascist Italy (1935); those in Denmark and Sweden (1963), the San Francisco Bay Area (1984) and Liverpool (1988), who refused shipping for apartheid South Africa; those in Oakland who refused to load bombs for the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1978); and those at all twenty-nine West Coast ports who held a May Day strike against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2008). … Therefore, we join with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the Brazilian CUT, and other labor bodies, in specifically reaffirming support for an immediate and comprehensive arms embargo…”
13 July 2011 (Ireland): Irish Congress of Trade Unions maintains commitment to BDS & moves policy forward
At its Biennial Delegate Conference this week in Killarney the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), representing the entirety of the Irish trade union movement across the Island, demonstrated its continued commitment to Palestinian solidarity and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Two motions on International Solidary with Palestine and the Palestinian People were passed unanimously, and one emergency motion on the sabotage of the Irish aid ship to Gaza was also passed unanimously.
[Read ICTU Press release] [Read ICTU Congress motions]
8 July 2011 (South Africa): COSATU Endorses the Palestinian Call to Impose an Immediate, Comprehensive Military Embargo on Israel
COSATU fully endorses the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls for a mandatory comprehensive arms embargo against Israel similar to that imposed against apartheid South Africa.
8 July 2011 (Egypt): Egyptian independent trade unions call for isolation of Israel
Representatives of the Egyptian Independent Union Federation call on the global trade union movement to cut links with the Histadrut and to support the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS.
8 July 2011 (South Africa): COSATU and CWUSA welcome ruling by ASA in favour of SA artists against Apartheid Israel
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) welcomes the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority in favour of the South African Artists Against Apartheid collective. The ruling is in response to the case brought by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) against the SA Artists Against Apartheid collective.
5 July 2011 (South Africa): COSATU welcomes formation of the Egyptian Independent Trade Union Federation (EITUF) and their inspirational call for BDS against Israel
The trade union and political landscape on the African continent would never be the same, particularly after the North African uprisings. The birth of a progressive movement, particularly in Egypt has given rise to a new impetus and momentum. In this regard, the formation of the Egyptian Independent Trade Union Federation (EITUF) signalled that new era in a more profound sense. … We are further inspired by their recent principled statements on a number of issues of both internal and international significance to the Egyptian working class. The most recent being their unapologetic call for all unions in the world to support the BDS against the Zionist state of Israel, which has maintained its illegal occupation of Palestine for years now.
1 July 2011 (Palestine): Palestinian sports community appeal to UEFA – Red Card Israeli Apartheid
“We, Palestinian footballers, athletes and sporting organizations and officials, are dismayed that Israel has been rewarded for its continued impunity and violent oppression of our people with the honour of hosting the UEFA Under-21 tournament in 2013. This decision is a drastic reversal of your brave stand just last year against Israeli attacks on Palestinian sport and its persistent violations of universal principles of human rights. …”
TAKE ACTION: Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign page
8 June 2011 (Britain): Keep boycotting Israel say delegates
Community Union delegates delivered a crushing blow today to the executive’s attempt to force through a resolution aimed at undermining the TUC policy of boycotting Israeli goods produced in illegal settlements. Members at the union’s biennial conference in Southport accused the leadership of using it to obtain a “retrospective mandate” from members to support Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP), which they labelled “an apologist” for Israeli war crimes. TULIP was co-founded by the Community Union’s general secretary Michael Leahy in 2009 to challenge what he labelled “apologists for Hamas” in the labour movement.
[AUSPalestine editor note: TULIP’s other two founding unions were the Australian Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (USA)]
3 June 2011 (Britain): University and College Union (UCU) passes key motions
At its annual congress on 29-30 May the UCU, which is the largest trade union and professional association for academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers and academic-related staff working in further and higher education throughout the UK, maintained its tradition of support for Palestinian rights and pressure on Israel to abide by international law by passing key motions endorsing the PACBI call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The UCU motion also called on peak body, Education International, “to seek similar action by all affiliates.”
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