Trade Unions

In commemoration of the first of May – a day of workers struggle and international solidarity – the first Palestinian trade union BDS conference was held in Ramallah on 30 April 2011, organized by almost the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement, including federations, professional unions, and trade union blocks representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian political parties. The conference hosted the formation of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) as the largest coalition of the Palestinian trade union movement.

All of the major Palestinian trade unions, federations and factions are signatories to the 2005 call for BDS and members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

Trade unions have endorsed BDS and organise consumer boycott or divestment campaigns within the labour movement or use their position as large and important civil society organisations to call for sanctions against Israel.

Dockworkers have been especially proactive in their support for Palestinian rights. In the wake of the murderous Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla in summer 2010, and in response to an appeal from the Palestinian trade union movement, the Swedish Dockworkers union blocked more than 500 containers weighing approximately 500 tons during a week-long blockade of exports to Israel and Israeli goods and dockworkers in Oakland, California respected a labour and community picket by refusing to unload an Israeli cargo ship for twenty-four hours. These actions followed those of the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union which pioneered the boycott against Israeli maritime trade in Febuary 2009 by refusing to offload a ship in Durban in protest of Israel’s war of aggression on the Gaza Strip. The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) promoted the “Israeli Apartheid Free Zone” to ensure their municipalities have no commercial, academic, cultural, sporting or other linkages whatsoever with the Israeli regime. Similar campaigns led by trade union activists have sprung across the world including in Ireland and Australia.

Palestinian trade unions have also called for their international colleagues to sever relations with the racist Israeli trade union, the Histadrut. Scores of individual unions and the national congresses of trade unions in Scotland and South Africa have either severed relations or debated doing so.


Trade Unions join protest against SodaStream


Members from eight UK trade unions have joined the long running weekly picket of SodaStream’s only UK shop


Europe’s largest teachers’ union endorses Israel boycott call

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Union backs Trade Union Congress boycott policy


Royal Institute of British Architects backs Israel boycott motion

The motion calls on the International Union Of Architects to exclude the Israeli Association of United Architects over its refusal to oppose Israel’s construction of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory


Motion passed by Royal Institute of British Architects

The following motion was passed by the Royal Institute of British Architects on March 19 2014.


UN year of solidarity with the Palestinian people begins with boycott success

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Just three weeks into 2014, the BDS movement has already achieved important successes


Round-up of BDS successes in 2013

This round-up was published in conjunction with a Palestinian BDS National Committee statement looking ahead to 2014.


Well-attended BDS conference organised by the Dutch Trade Unions and NGOs in Utrecht

ntitled “Conference for Peace in Palestine/Israel: Trade Unions and Citizens Together in Action Against the Occupation”, the conference was attended by more than 100 persons from among the trade union movement, from NGOs and from other associations


Major UK union votes against Trade Union Friends of Israel


The decision is binding on the union as an organisation


Letter of the Palestinian Postal Service Workers’ Union to the South African Communication Workers on the 65th commemoration of the Nakba

Sisters and brothers of South Africa, dear to our hearts, Fraternal greetings from Palestine, We address you today as we commemorate the grim anniversary of our Nakba, our national catastrophe, and as our days continue to be filled with calamities … Continue reading 


Statement of the Palestinian Postal Service Workers’ Union on the occasion of May Day

The Palestinian Postal Service Workers’ Union calls upon all trade unions representing workers in postal services, telecommunications and logistics worldwide to boycott the postal services of the Israeli Occupying Power


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