Palestinian trade unions call for worldwide action to end Israeli apartheid

April 30, 2023
Palestine labour solidarity
Palestinian unions are calling on port workers and their unions to refrain from loading/offloading Israeli ships. Graphic: Green Left

Palestinian trade unions issued the following statement on April 10, urging the international labour movement to take action in support of the Palestinian-led movement against Israeli occupation, colonisation and apartheid.

* * *

Occupied Palestine, April 10, 2023

The global trade union movement, which has played a key and inspiring role in its commitment to workers’ rights and human rights more generally, has stood in principled solidarity with the oppressed across the world, adopting concrete, ground-breaking, labour-led sanctions against oppressive regimes.

Israel's systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy, discriminatory and racist laws, and restrictions on freedom of movement and association have a significant impact on the rights and working conditions of Palestinian workers.

Inspired by the massive workers' solidarity with the struggle that ended apartheid in South Africa and with the ongoing Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality, and

Based on the consensus among major Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations and UN experts that Israel is perpetrating the crime against humanity of apartheid,

We, the undersigned Palestinian trade union bodies and professional syndicates, urge all trade unions, trade union federations, and professional syndicates worldwide to contribute to the Palestinian-led Anti-Apartheid Movement by taking meaningful action in support of the rights of Palestinian workers and the Palestinian people at large to end the system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid, including by:

  • Excluding from procurement Israeli and international companies and banks that are complicit in Israel’s apartheid and military occupation, including illegal settlements;
  • Divesting pension funds from State of Israel Bonds (#BreakTheBonds) and all Israeli and international companies and banks that are complicit in Israel’s occupation and apartheid;
  • Mobilising port workers and their unions to refrain from loading/offloading Israeli ships, as was done in Oakland, California and elsewhere, inspired by the heroic measures taken by port workers around the world in suspending maritime trade with apartheid South Africa;
  • Pressuring city councils to end any complicit relations they may have with Israeli apartheid, including by excluding from their procurement all companies that are implicated in grave human rights violations globally, including Israel’s illegal settlements and system of apartheid against Palestinians;

And pressuring your government/parliament to:

  1. Support efforts at the UN to investigate Israeli apartheid and to reconstitute the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid.
  2. Investigate and prosecute individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.
  3. Ban arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel.
  4. Suspend free trade agreements with Israel.
  5. Prohibit trade with the illegal Israeli settlements and terminate corporate business with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.

Issued by:

General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW); Palestinian Union of Postal, IT & Telecommunications Workers; Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU Jericho); Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU Gaza); Federation of Independent Trade Unions; General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT); The Palestinian New Federation of Trade Unions; Union of Palestinian Farmers; General Union of Palestinian Peasants; Agricultural Cooperatives Union; Palestinian Engineers Association; Palestinian Bar Association; Palestinian Agriculture Engineers Syndicate; Palestinian Veterinarians Syndicate; Palestinian Dental Association; Palestinian Medical Association.

[Reprinted from]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.