Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Victorian Trades Hall Council statement on Gaza

25 July 2014
Originally Published by Australian Unionists Supporting Palestine

The Victorian Trades Hall Council Executive meeting on Friday 25 July unanimously passed this resolution, proposed by Kevin Bracken (Maritime Union of Australia, Victoria Branch).

That this meeting of the Victorian Trades Hall Executive:

  • Condemns Israel’s latest horrific assault on the people of Palestine, which has resulted in over 600 deaths in the past three weeks – the overwhelming majority of the dead being civilians, and many of them children. 
  • We reiterate previous policy supporting a strategy of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the state of Israel, similar to actions designed to isolate the former Apartheid regime of South Africa. 
  • We support the peaceful community protests called in solidarity with the people of Palestine, to be held on Saturday 26 July at 1pm, and Friday 1 August at 5pm, outside the State Library in Swanston St, Melbourne. 
  • We urge affiliates to support these protests through attendance, publicity, and other means.
Background to this statement: On 7 July 2014, following a severe escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment and Palestinian rocket firing, the Israeli Government launched a full-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, titled Operation ‘Protective Edge’.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Queensland Teachers Union statement on Gaza

Queensland Teachers’ Union State Council
Originally published 19 July, 2014

“THAT QTU State Council expresses dismay at the tragic loss of lives in the current conflict in Gaza and other Occupied Palestinian Territory and that 77% of those killed are civilians including many woman and children.

In light of the deaths of at least 58 children, and hundreds of other innocent civilians, and the wounding of 2200 others as a direct consequence of this conflict, the QTU State Council calls on the parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities, as well for the immediate lifting of the seven year blockade of Gaza, and an end to the military occupation and the illegal settlements.

THAT the QTU State Council calls on the AEU and Education International to make public statements in support of the United Nations Security Council call for a ceasefire and calls for the resolution of the conflict based on United Nation Security Council resolutions, and international humanitarian law, as a means to lead to a peaceful outcome for all.

THAT QTU State Council reaffirms its commitment to boycotts divestments and sanctions against Israel until such time as it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights and calls on the AEU to initiate a broad discussion on an appropriate BDS commitment at a national level.”


ITUC - Israel/Palestine: UN Ceasefire Call Must Be Respected

International Trade Union Confederation
Originally published 14 July, 2014

The ITUC has called for urgent implementation of the UN Security Council’s call for a ceasefire as the death toll in Gaza continues to mount. The Security Council has called for a “de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”

Around 170 Palestinians in Gaza, three-quarters of them civilians according to the UN, have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in the past week by more than 1,200 Israeli airstrikes. No fatalities in Israel have been reported from the 900 rockets fired from within Gaza.

“An immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza must be followed by renewed international pressure to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and find a negotiated settlement to respect the 1967 borders between Israel and a Palestinian state. The world cannot allow the injustice to continue, nor can it accept the prospect of yet more violence causing the deaths of innocent civilians,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.


Palestine - WFTU denounces the Zionist Israel

World Federation of Trade Unions
Originally published 10 July, 2014

The World Federation of Trade Unions true to its internationalist solidarity to the Palestinian people which is being expressed with moral and practical means in a day to day basis denounces the murderous policy of the Israeli Government, the attacks, the kidnappings and the expansion of the settlements in the Palestinian territories.

There is no law or argument that can make these bloody attacks acceptable. The blood of the innocent and the injustice over the Palestinian people is not only in the hands of the Zionist Israel but also those who support it like the USA and the European Union and those who do not do anything to put an end in their torment.

We express our solidarity, support and brotherhood to the WFTU affiliate the GUPW [General Union of Palestinian Workers], to the Palestinian workers and the Palestinian people for a free, independent and sovereign Palestine.


IndustriALL Global Union: Violence, Blood and Tears Must Stop in Gaza

IndustriALL Global Union
Originally published 14 July, 2014

In just over a week, at least 225 Palestinians and 1 Israeli were killed of whom 80% were civilians and 20% children. According to the news provided, 1,400 are wounded while 1,255 homes are destroyed and 529 arrested.

IndustriALL strongly proclaims that the military action must be halted immediately. There must be an urgent implementation of the UN Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

“The United Nations Security Council’s call for a ceasefire must be implemented without any delay,” said General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “The Council has urged de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians”.

IndustriALL shares the call of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in demanding that an immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza be followed by renewed international pressure to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and find a negotiated settlement to respect the 1967 borders between Israel and a Palestinian state.

In her statement ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow commented: “The world cannot allow the injustice to continue, nor can it accept the prospect of yet more violence causing the deaths of innocent civilians”.

“Mostly working people are the victims of the current unacceptable situation” said Jyrki Raina.    “The international community must take all the initiatives to avoid further deterioration which could only bring more poverty, chaos and unsafe living and working conditions”.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

International Transport Workers' Federation Condemns Gaza Airstrikes and Launches Appeal to Aid Victims

International Transport Workers' Federation
Originally published 14 July 2014

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has condemned the growing number of deaths resulting from Israeli military strikes against Gaza in the last few days and launched an appeal to assist those affected. The air strikes have been in response to the launch of missiles into Israel by Hamas, but the Israeli response is widely seen as vastly disproportionate and with a near total disregard for civilian lives.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated: “We strongly condemn the strikes by the Israeli military which are being launched into one of the most densely populated areas in the world. This is done in the full knowledge that there will be horrendous civilian casualties. We call for the urgent implementation of the UN Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire.”

The ITF’s call joins that of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in demanding that an immediate ceasefire be followed by renewed international pressure to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and find a negotiated settlement to respect the 1967 borders between Israel and a Palestinian state.

More than 170 civilians have been killed in Gaza in six days of continuous air strikes including many children; more than 1,000 have been injured. Thousands of families have had to flee their homes. To date there have been no Israeli casualties from Hamas missiles.

The ITF’s member union the Gaza Bus Drivers’ Union has reported that the humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached crisis point. All normal transport operations are stopped and fishing boats have become victims of military strikes.

The ITF is launching an immediate relief effort coordinated by its office in Amman, Jordan. See here for details of how trade unions can help send food and medical supplies to the people of Gaza.

“We are already preparing the means to send medical supplies and equipment to Gaza as soon as this becomes practically possible. I am making an urgent call to all ITF-affiliated unions to provide financial support for a trade union humanitarian relief effort for Gaza,” Crumlin concluded.

In 2009 a similar ITF programme delivered ambulances, food and medicine during the attacks at that time here.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Israeli raids on Gaza - CGT urges the French government to intervene

Confédération générale du travail
July 16, 2014

CGT wishes to express its profound indignation and condemn strongly the wave of fire that has fallen on Gaza for several days.

It reiterates its opposition to all forms of violence, wherever they come from, and againt collective punishment of civilian populations.

No military action will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has now lasted more than 47 years. Only dialogue, respect for human rights and the implementation of international conventions and the multiple United Nations resolutions are likely to bring peace to this region.

The CGT call for the immediate cessation of bombing in Palestine and urge the French government, the European Union and the wider international community to take fullfil thier full responsibility in categorically opposing the war logic.

Signatory to the two call by national collectives for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians (11 and 15 July 2014), the CGT members of the national collective's delegation which was received at 3 pm on July 11 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to denounce the government's inaction and call for concrete actions to be undertaken by France toward the Israeli government and within the UN Security Council.

The CGT, whose Confederal Exectutive attended the rally this Wednesday, July 16, at 18:30, at the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris, demanding the implementation of economic and legal sanctions against the Israeli government which does not respect the international law and the lifting of the Gaza blockade, negotiations on the dismantling of settlements and the resumption of the peace process.



COSATU Statement on Israel bombings of Gaza - Do unto apartheid Israel what you did to apartheid South Africa

Congress of South African Trade Union
10 July 2014

On the night of the 8th July, 2014, Gaza woke up to the tremors of earth-shaking bombings by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). It is said since then more than 27 Palestinians, including more than 6 children amongst them, were killed and more than 200 have been injured as a result of the airstrikes by Israel. Dozens of homes have been demolished and several families lost relatives.

The Israeli cabinet has further authorised the reactivation of 40 000 army reservists in anticipation or signalling a possible ground offensive, to top up those already deployed in and around Gaza. How do we explain 60 airstrikes in one day?

The intensification of the mass arrests against Palestinians in various parts of the occupied territories, such as in West Bank where about 500 Palestinians have been arrested in a space of 3 weeks. Mohammed Abu Khdier a Palestinian child was kidnapped, tortured and burnt alive in Jerusalem. Mohammed is amongst millions of Palestinian children who have for years been murdered by the state of Israel in the name of self-protection against “terrorists”.

We firmly support the ANC statement that, “In line with our 2012 policy resolutions, that called on "all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel", branches and structures of the ANC across the country will be joining the Palestine solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in organizing protests and pickets calling for the immediate end of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. We call on all South Africans, Black, White, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others to join us in expressing our solidarity. Solidarity will bring us together as different South Africans just as how the international anti-apartheid movement brought people together”.

It is only those who have lost their humanity who cant feel or share in the pain felt by the suffering people of Palestine from the barbaric and savage attacks by what has become the most acceptable, deliberate and legalised murder and deliberate violation of international law by a country.

Israel is only able to commit all these ruthless atrocities because of the licence from the US, EU and allies. The UN must be ashamed of itself for failing humanity and the people of Palestine, always pleading for restraint from the victim, equally. We cannot equate an aggressor to a victim or coloniser to a colonised. Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist for fighting for freedom, hence the natural task of oppressed people to wage a liberation struggle and our natural responsibility is to support them.

We call on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings. We support the call to recall South African ambassador to Israel, kick out the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and move with speed to decisively isolate Israel and all who sympathise with racism and Zionist occupation all over the world.

Now is the time for the world to stop words of pity and lamentation, but take action by doing what it did to apartheid South Africa when its policies were declared a crime against humanity. Indeed, apartheid remains a crime against humanity wherever it happens. If apartheid cant outrage us, our humanity is called into question and our morality is hollow.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Streets

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Fax: +27 11 339-6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za

- See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za


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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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