UE becomes first U.S. national union to endorses BDS
During its national convention on August 20 in Baltimore, the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers became the first national union in the United States to endorse BDS.
In 2005, the Palestinian Civil Society called on people, organizations, and institutions of the world to boycott, divest, and sanction those entities supporting and/or profiting off of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The demands of BDS are: ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall, recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.
The BDS resolutions were voted on as part of a series of 37 resolutions on foreign policy issues. One union delegate, Autumn Martinez, told the convention she met Palestinian trade unionists at the World Social Forum in Tunisia. She stated, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!” Martinez was one of five delegates who spoke in favor of the resolution during the convention, stressing the inhumane conditions that the Palestinians are still being forced to endure under the Israeli occupation. Another delegate, Angaza Laughinghouse, said, “Our government is on the wrong side. We have to stand on the right side of the Palestinian struggle.”
The resolution, “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel”, cited Israel’s sordid human rights record: “starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel.”
As a final statement, the 74th UE Convention:
Calls on Congress and the Administration to end all U.S. military aid to Israel; and to pressure Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the siege of Gaza and negotiate a peace agreement on the basis of equality, democracy, and human rights for the Palestinian and Israeli people, including Palestinian self-determination and the right of return for refugees.
Endorses the BDS movement and urges the union at all levels to become engaged in BDS and the movement for peace, justice and equality between the Palestinians and Israelis.