Israeli container shipping line ZIM has been forced to divert its routes following a new trade union-led campaign to prevent it from providing support to the Israeli Defence Force.
The boycott ZIM campaign has been spearheaded by Trade Unionists for Palestine as part of the growing movement against Israel’s genocidal war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Unionists and community supporters blockaded trucks in the Port of Melbourne on November 10 and, the next day, about 1000 people protested at Gadi/Sydney's Botany Bay, including some on jet skis.
Nick Riemer, University of Sydney National Tertiary Education Union branch president, told the Gadi protest that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and foreign minister Penny Wong are complicit in genocide.
Maritime Union of Australia delegate Erima Dall told the protest her union “stands with Palestinian trade unionists and with all Palestinians in their struggle”. She said weapons shipments to Israel have been stopped around the world by protestors and workers refusing to load ships, and that dock workers in Genoa, Italy, had held a protest the day before.
ZIM has publicly declared it supports Israel’s war. It ships exports weapons to Israel including, allegedly, white phosphorus.
Human Rights Watch verified that Israel used white phosphorus in Lebanon and Gaza on October 10 and 11. It has a significant incendiary effect and violates international humanitarian law which prohibits putting civilians at unnecessary risk.
Trade Unionists for Palestine said that having to swap port calls to dodge protests is expensive. “Any change of schedule for a container shipping company is expensive and damages their reputation as a reliable shipping provider.”