From the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
IPSC warmly welcomes the strong Palestinian solidarity motion passed at the biennial Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) conference last weekend. This resolution called for boycott and divestment from Israel and companies such as CRH who are building Israel’s apartheid Wall, and for support for beleaguered Palestinian trade unions.
The motion authorized the leadership of the Irish trade union movement to undertake a wide range of measures to oppose Israel’s oppressive actions and to show solidarity with Palestinians. These include a commitment to “actively and vigorously” promote a policy of boycott and of divestment, to make direct representations to government and to the EU, and to mobilise EU-wide trade union solidarity action. Conference also called upon ICTU to send a senior delegation to the Palestinian territories to establish solidarity links. It also welcomed the establishment by ICTU of Trade Union Friends of Palestine.
As Eamon McMahon of TUFP commented, ‘ICTU is the largest mass organisation of the Irish working class. It represents all sections of labour – from low-paid to senior management – and all sectors of industry and employment. It is highly significant that there was no opposition at all to any of the motions, despite the fact that they represent what must be one of the strongest positions adopted by any trade union congress in the world.
He continued, ‘Today’s conference demonstrates that the people of Ireland – north and south – are steadfast in their commitment to stand in solidarity alongside their long-suffering and heroic Palestinian brothers and sisters’.
This is the latest in a series of trade union support for the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. In Britain, the TUC has recently passed a boycott resolution in response to previous resolutions by journalists and university lecturers unions, in addition to the general union UNISON. Large unions in places like South Africa and Canada have also supported this campaign. In Ireland last month NIPSA (the Northern Ireland Public Sector Association) unanimously supported a call for boycotts and sanctions. There is little doubt that in passing this resolution, ICTU accurately represents the mood of its members and of the Irish public in general.
IPSC recalls the important role that trade unions played in the boycott of Apartheid-era South African goods and is gratified that they are to the forefront in the boycott of yet another Apartheid state. We call upon all Irish people, not just members of unions, to heed ICTU’s progressive call and join this growing boycott of Israeli goods till Israel abides by international law and respects the basic human rights of Palestinians.
You can read the full text of the ICTU’s resolution here.