BritainÂs unions have thrown their weight behind a campaign of disinvestment and boycott from companies which are profiting from IsraelÂs illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.
Trade unions voted unanimously today at the TUCÂs annual conference for a motion put forward by the Transport Salaried StaffsÂ Association (TSSA), seconded by the GMB, and supported by UNSION, PCS (the Public and Commercial Services Union) and the FBU (Fire BrigadesÂ 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 IsraelÂs blockade of the Palestinian territories, in particular Gaza, and the Israeli militaryÂs 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: ÂThis motion builds on that passed at last yearÂs 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 IsraelÂs aggression towards the Palestinians and those, such as the humanitarians on the Gaza aid flotilla, who try to help them.Â
Mr Lanning added: ÂTrade unions were pivotal in helping to end Apartheid in South Africa and bring freedom to that countryÂs people. TodayÂs vote shows that BritainÂs unions are prepared to stand up again in support of an oppressed peopleÂthis time the PalestiniansÂand 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.Â
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK.
Media contact: Sarah Colborne
September 27, 2010