BNC Statement

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) stands in solidarity with UK workers


Occupied Palestine, 18 October 2012 – The Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PTUC-BDS), the largest coalition of Palestinian trade unions and professional syndicates, stands in solidarity with working families across the UK marching on October 20 against cuts and austerity and for “A Future that Works”.  All across the world, workers are being made to pay for a crisis we did not create.  We in occupied Palestine salute your efforts to defend your pensions, jobs, working conditions and public services.

PTUC-BDS was launched at a historic conference in Occupied Palestine on 30 April 2011 to provide the widest and most representative Palestinian reference for the international trade union movement and to help coordinate trade union solidarity efforts.  Leaders of all major Palestinian political parties have warmly endorsed the formation of PTUC-BDS as the unified voice of Palestinian workers and professionals struggling to end Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonialism through effective, peaceful BDS measures.

PTUC-BDS calls upon trade unions to implement boycotts of Israeli and international companies that are complicit with violations of Palestinian rights, divest trade union funds from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid, and apply pressure on governments to cut military and trade relations with Israel, leading to sanctions.

The so-called austerity agenda is becoming a global trend that all trade unions must combat together. Recently, due to the outrageous price rise wave in Palestine, and increase in taxation and the price of basic consumer goods and fuel, the Palestinian unions have been leading various activities, events and protests across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. PTUC-BDS coalition members have been at the forefront of strike actions demanding social protection.

As you prepare to march for social justice, we take this opportunity to thank all trade unions across the UK and the inspiring trade union activists who continue to promote BDS measures against Israel until it complies with international law, as the most morally consistent and proactive form of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

We were especially heartened by the overwhelming positive vote at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) on 14 September 2011 on a motion to “work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”.  At the 2012 congress, TUC has passed a motion committing to organizing with the PSC a delegation to Gaza "to determine how the TUC may most effectively contribute to the end of the blockade”.  We look forward to welcoming you in Gaza and to working closely with TUC and partners to implement your BDS policy.

We take this opportunity to invite UK workers and trade unionists to join the World Social Forum - Free Palestine to be held from November 28 to December 1 2012 in Porto Alegre (Brazil). This historic event will be a unique space for unions to discuss together with social movements, solidarity campaigns and other civil society organizations joint efforts to develop more effective support for the Palestinian people.

We understand these are critical times for the trade-union movement world-wide, and the UK movement specifically is gearing up to challenge some of the most severe cuts and austerity measures taking place in Europe.  We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in your fight and thank you for the solidarity you continue to show to the struggle for Palestinian workers’ rights.  We wish you the very best in your upcoming march against government attacks on your conditions.

An injury to one is an injury to all!