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.


BDS en 2015: Siete formas en que nuestro movimiento marcó nuevos rumbos en contra del colonialismo y el apartheid israelíes

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English here 2015 será recordado como el año en que la resistencia popular palestina se extendió por toda la Palestina histórica, y decenas de miles de palestinos y palestinas salieron a las calles para resistir y enfrentar al régimen israelí … Continue reading 


A statement issued by the General Federation of Palestine’s Trades Unions – Gaza


We, the undersigned, assert our unwavering commitment to the call of Palestinian civil society for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS)


PGFTU (Gaza) Reaffirms “Unwavering Commitment” to BDS and Histadrut’s boycott

the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) – Gaza Strip reiterated its “unwavering commitment” to the BDS movement against Israel


BDS roundup: Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert and Israeli company loses Olympics security contract

Plus: 20 South African businesses boycott security company over prison links, BDS campaign launched in Egypt, UK bank divests from Israeli arms company, French multinational Veolia sells nearly all Israeli businesses and Quebec union federation adopts BDS


US student workers’ union becomes first US labor union to back BDS

Divestment campaigns on University of California campuses continue to grow. (Photo courtesy of Cal SJP Facebook page) Student workers at the University of California have voted by a landslide to support the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The votes, which … Continue reading 


Protestors block and delay Israeli ships up and down US West Coast

In August 2014, more than 1,000 people took part in a direct action that prevented an Israeli boat from docking at the port in Oakland, California

In the past two weeks, the unloading of Israeli ships has been prevented or disrupted at ports in Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle and Long Beach


Israeli ship is blocked from unloading in Oakland for four straight days


San Francisco Bay Area activists have not allowed a vessel from Israel’s largest shipping company to unload in the Oakland Port for four consecutive mornings

News, Statements

Stand with Palestinian workers in Gaza: a call for trade union solidarity

The Palestinian trade union movement is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people


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


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