Thursday, 17 September 2009

British Trade Union Congress Agrees to Mass Boycott Israeli Goods


In a landmark decision, Britain ’s trade unions have voted overwhelmingly to commit to build a mass boycott movement, disinvestment and sanctions on Israel for a negotiated settlement based on justice for Palestinians.

The motion was passed at the 2009 TUC Annual Congress in Liverpool today (17 September), by unions representing 6.5 million workers across the UK.

Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘This motion is the culmination of a wave of motions passed at union conferences this year, following outrage at Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, and reflects the massive growth in support for Palestinian rights. We will be working with the TUC to develop a mass campaign to boycott Israeli goods, especially agricultural products that have been produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.’

The motion additionally called for the TUC General Council to put pressure on the British government to end all arms trading with Israel and support moves to suspend the EU-Israel trade agreement.. Unions are also encouraged to disinvest from companies which profit from Israel ’s illegal 42-year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank . The motion was tabled by the Fire Brigades Union.

The biggest unions in the UK , including Unite, the public sector union, and UNISON, which represents health service workers, voted in favour of the motion. The motion also condemned the Israeli trade union Histadrut’s statement supporting Israel ’s war on Gaza , which killed 1,450 Palestinians in three weeks, and called for a review of the TUC’s relationship with Histadrut.

Britain’s trade unions join those of South Africa and Ireland in voting to use a mass boycott campaign as a tool to bring Israel into line with international law, and pressure it to comply with UN resolutions that encourage justice and equality for the Palestinian people.

The full motion passed on 17 September can be viewed at: http://www.congressvoices.org/2009/76-palestine/

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is the largest solidarity movement with Palestinians in Britain – and is supported by thousands of individual members alongside 18 national trade union and hundreds of local trade union affiliates.

For more information: http://www.palestinecampaign.org

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law. http://www.bdsmovement.net