Britain’s largest trade union body, the TUC, has passed a motion calling on Israel to tear down its ‘apartheid wall’.
The Trade Union Council, which represents 66 affiliated unions and nearly seven million workers, passed the motion at its annual conference in Brighton, UK, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied territories, for the British government and EU to restore funding to the Palestinian Authority and for the Israeli government to restore withheld tax revenues due to the PA.
International funding to the PA was cut in February of this year after Hamas gained an electoral majority in the first democratic elections in Palestine in ten years.
The TUC motion upholds the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and condemns the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza City power station, the use of sonic booms over Gaza, and the seizure of members of the democratically elected Palestinian government.
Moving the motion, Ruth Winters, President of the Fire Brigades Union, condemned the Labour Government for its failure to act to bring justice to the Palestinian people and condemned Israel’s âstate terrorismâ against the Palestinian people especially in Gaza.
Motion passed at TU Conference September 2006
â¢ the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination;
â¢ the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland;
â¢ the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied territories; and
â¢ the removal of the illegally constructed âapartheid wallâ.
Congress believes that the achievement of justice for the Palestinians will help bring peace to the Middle East and to the people of Israel.
Congress condemns the Government of Israelâs suspension of revenue payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the suspension of aid by the European Union, the United States Administration and others. These actions, which threaten the wages of approximately 160,000 workers and the well-being of the Palestinian people as a whole, are condemned by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions.
Congress condemns the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza City power station, the use of sonic booms over Gaza, and the seizure of members of the democratically elected Palestinian government.
Congress resolves to ask the General Council to:
â¢ call on the British Government to maintain all funding to the PA and call for the restoration of all EU and other international aid to the PA;
â¢ pressurise the Government of Israel to restore the revenues collected by them to their rightful owners, the PA;
make appropriate representations to the quartet (US, EU, Russia and the UN) to take immediate steps to achieve a negotiated settlement based on justice for the Palestinians;
â¢ raise these issues in the ETUC, ICFTU, Histadrut and ILO and all appropriate international and national bodies;
â¢ continue to make every effort to promote dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists and the building of direct links with Palestinian trade unions;
â¢ seek to bring about greater cooperation amongst solidarity organisations supporting the rights of the Palestinian people, such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and encourage all affiliates to affiliate; and
â¢ call on the British Government to make public its concern at Israelâs continued attacks on Gaza.
Mover: Fire Brigadesâ Union
Seconder: Educational Institute of Scotland
Supporter: Transport Salaried Staffsâ Association