Friday, 17 September 2010
Trade unions step up support for Palestinians
Britain's unions have thrown their weight behind a campaign of disinvestment and boycott from companies which are profiting from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.
Trade unions voted unanimously today at the TUC's annual conference for a motion put forward by the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), seconded by the GMB, and supported by UNSION, PCS (the Public and Commercial Services Union) and the FBU (Fire Brigades' Union).
The motion called for the General Council to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and construction of the Apartheid Wall.
It condemned Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territories, in particular Gaza, and the Israeli military's deadly assault on aid ships carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza in May. It also called for an immediate end to the siege on Gaza, and a full independent inquiry into the attack on the Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine activists.
A separate General Council statement requires the TUC, which represents 6.5 million workers across the UK, to have a concrete programme for action in place by next month
Hugh Lanning, Chair of PSC, said: ‘This motion builds on that passed at last year's conference to campaign for a boycott of goods from the illegal West Bank settlements. It is a massive step forward in the movement for justice for the Palestinian people, and reflects growing public anger at Israel's aggression towards the Palestinians and those, such as the humanitarians on the Gaza aid flotilla, who try to help them.'
Mr Lanning added: ‘Trade unions were pivotal in helping to end Apartheid in South Africa and bring freedom to that country's people. Today's vote shows that Britain's unions are prepared to stand up again in support of an oppressed people - this time the Palestinians - and help them to win their freedom. This is an historic moment for the union movement in the UK, and one that it can be proud of.'