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Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – Palestinian Trade Union Call upon International Labor Movement

by the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

The Palestinian Trade unions have given out a Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions endorsed by:

* the General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW).
* the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).
* the Coalition of Independent Democratic Unions.
* Other Palestinian professional and vocational unions.

In a press conference held on January 11 2007, the Trade Unions and Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign addressed this call to the Arab and International Trade Unions and, in particular, the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, the Arab League, the Arab Labor Organization, the International Labor Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, the Palestinian people and the international community.

A further press conference is scheduled to be held in the Gaza Strip.

See English translation of the statement issued on January 11, 2007.

See the original January 11 statement with signatures.


See factsheet: “Trade Union Solidarity for Effective BDS Campaigns”

See labor report by Sawt al-Amel: “Separate and Unequal”

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Support CUPE Ontario’s stand for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

Support the Palestinian call to Isolate Apartheid Israel!

In May 2006, CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Ontario approved resolution 50 supporting “the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.” The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign thanks CUPE Ontario for their support and brave decision.

The resolution passed with overwhelming support at the largest provincial convention in the union’s history, held May 24-27 in Ottawa, Canada. Over 900 delegates from CUPE locals across Ontario attended the convention. CUPE represents about 200,000 public sector workers in Ontario and is the largest public sector union in the province. This resolution is part of a growing global campaign initiated on July 9, 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Palestinian trade unions, civil society and grassroots have greatly appreciated this move and expressed their encouragement for CUPE and trade unions all over the world to implement the Palestinian call for the Isolation of Apartheid Israel. Some of the support letters are gathered below:

Palestinian General Federation Trade Union

Palestinian Industrial Unions

General Union of Palestine Labor Vocational Association

Palestinian Farmers Union

Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)

Coalition for Jerusalem

PARC

Badil

Palestinian Beekeepers Cooperative

The Palestinian Rural Women’s Development Society

International letters of support:

COSATU – South African Trade Union Cogress

Coalition of Lebanese Society

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid ([email protected]) is coordinating support for CUPE.

We ask you to respond to their call for action:

* Please contact the leadership of CUPE Ontario and support this decision. A sample letter can be found below.

Messages to CUPE Ontario can be sent to:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario: [email protected]

CUPE Ontario Executive Members [email protected]

Katherine Nastovski, Chair, CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee [email protected]

(Please cc [email protected] as the unionist’s mailboxes are spammed with attacks by the Zionist lobby.)

* Trade Unions, clergy and community organizations, should call upon their members and congregants to contact CUPE Ontario and support this decision.

* Please forward this note to your distribution lists.

Full Text of the Resolution:

CUPE ONTARIO WILL:

1. With Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.

2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self- determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution194.

3. Call on CUPE National to commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on the CLC to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.

BECAUSE:

– The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.

– Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;

– CUPE BC has firmly and vocally condemned the occupation of Palestine and have initiated an education campaign about the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state.

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Sample letter

To whom it may concern

I wish to express my profound gratitude to CUPE Ontario for passing Resolution 50 in support of the global campaign against Israeli Apartheid.

Only the grossly uninformed or misinformed can fail to comprehend the inexcusable suffering that Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people for nearly six decades. For the sake of all of humanity, it must end.

Again, I commend your courage and principle. Rest assured, the vast majority of thinking Canadians who want to see a peaceful world stand with you.

Most certainly you will come under great pressure from the pro-Israel lobby to reverse your decision. Please stand firm for justice and International Law.