Home NewsAsia Trade unions worldwide step up pro-Palestine efforts

Trade unions worldwide step up pro-Palestine efforts

by Zahid Jadwat


A ship arriving in the Port of Barcelona, July 2023. [Picture: Lluís Sibils}


A number of trade unions in several countries have ramped up support for the people of Palestine. The calls to boycott apartheid Israel have grown increasingly urgent as that country presses on with genocide in Gaza.

“We support the people of Palestine,” said Congress of South African Trade Unions’s (COSATU) Melvin De Bruyn. “We support the call that [the] Israeli ambassador be expelled from this country. We can’t keep quiet while innocent people are dying on a daily basis and nothing’s happening”.


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Global solidarity amongst trade unions

Globally, the tide of public perception is turning against the occupier as gruesome footage of its atrocities in Palestine go viral on social media. Hundreds of thousands have marched through prominent streets, from Johannesburg to Sydney, London and elsewhere, to firmly back the just Palestinian cause.

Trade unions, with a long history of solidarity with Palestine, have also stepped up. In Barcelona, Spain, on Monday refused to handle shipments carrying weapons amid the obliterating actions against Gaza.

“We decided within the association not to allow ships containing war materials to operate in our port, for the sole purpose of protecting any civilian population, regardless of their location, as there is no justification for sacrificing civilians,” read a statement by Organización Estibadores Portuarios de Barcelona (OEPB).

Before that, Belgian unions ACV Puls, BTB, BBTK and ACV-Transcom urged their members not to handle arms shipments destined for Israel.

“While a genocide is under way in Palestine, workers at various airports in Belgium are seeing arms shipments in the direction of the war zone,” read a joint statement. “As unions, we stand with those who campaign for peace,” they added.

While Israel has agreed to a meagre four-hour pause each day, airstrikes continue to place Palestinian civilians in danger. By Friday, at least 10 812 Palestinians were killed and the majority of Gaza’s besieged population was displaced.

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