Major victory as PSI congress supports action on Palestine -
The Public Services International (PSI) trade union congress in Durban - representing 20 million public service workers globally - has voted overwhelmingly to take action in support of Palestine.
Two resolutions were passed. The Congress supported the call for UN to recognise Palestine as an independent state, but also to campaign for disinvestment from companies ässociated with the occupation as well as engaged in illegal settlements and the separation wall.
The Congress condemned all breaches of international law including the occupation and the siege of Gaza.
The congress went on to support a call from South African unions to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.The World Congress was held in Durban on 27-30 November. The vote took place on Wednesday the 28th of August.
The PSI represents 20 million workers globally who deliver public services
in 150 countries.
Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Deputy General
Secretary of PCS, who moved the composite resolution, said
"This week trade unionists from around the world have demonstrated they
stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Trade
Unionists are supporting the call for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions of firms complicit with the occupation.
This is a major step forward and breakthrough on policy in the international trade union movement.
The Palestinian people have been denied their right to self determination since 1948. Many Palestinians are now living under an increasingly brutal occupation and it is our duty to support them by supporting boycott disinvestment and sanctions until Israel complies with international law."
Major trade union backs boycott of Israel - Electronic Intifada
One of the world’s largest cross-border trade union groups has declared its support for the campaign to boycott Israeli goods and institutions.
Meeting in Durban, South Africa last week, Public Services International (PSI) also pledged to participate in Israel Apartheid Week, an annual series of events designed to raise awareness about the discrimination and human rights abuses faced by Palestinians. PSI represents 20 million workers throughout the globe.
A resolution urging support for the Palestinian-led mobilisation for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel was proposed to the PSI congress by the South African Municipal Workers Union. Approved by a large majority, the resolution stated:
“We will continue working with our partners in the trade union movement to ensure that worker solidarity is maximized locally and internationally. The slogan of the trade union movement — ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ — rings true for the people of Palestine. The injustices and human rights abuses towards Palestinians, while living under the rule of apartheid Israel, affects us all and we will continue to mobilize for a just resolution with urgency.”
The PSI binds together some 500 public-sector unions, who deliver vital services in 150 countries. Among the major concerns of PSI are bringing union solidarity to migrating workers; violence against women; and improving infrastructures in the areas of road-building, water and sanitation, energy, and waste. The PSI has also called on the US and its allies to cease providing weapons to Israel. And it pledged to develop campaigns aimed at persuading companies who are complicit in the occupation to withdraw from any economic activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Welcoming the PSI vote, Muhammed Desai from the organization BDS South Africa said: “Public tenders, municipal contracts and other services must now be scrutinized by shop stewards and trade unionists to ensure that our public services are not in any way connected to Israel. There should be no normal relations with an abnormal state.”