U.S. Unions Under Attack by the Israeli Government
In 2015 official bodies of the U.S. trade union movement began to endorse BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in support of Palestinian rights. In the summer at convention the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union passed a resolution calling for an end of U.S. military aid to Israel and endorsing the BDS movement. They got a thank you from 3,000 people, but a lawsuit from the Israeli government.
The Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center filed a charge under the hated Taft-Hartley provision of the National Labor Relations Act saying the resolution amounted to a secondary boycott. A secondary boycott is where you ask people to boycott a company to try to make it stop doing business with a company that you’re striking or taking some other labor action. The Shurat HadDin was claiming the unions was acting like a “discriminatory hate group”.
Then at the very end of October the Connecticut AFL-CIO federation (repesenting 200,000 workers) passed a resolution requesting the national AFL-CIO join in measures of BDS against Israel. The Israeli government-funded “Stand with Us” group issued a statement saying it was “deeply disappointed”. You can imagine what their “disappointment” will lead to, alliances with anti-union billionaires, lying charges of anti-Semitism and the like.
The rank and file group “Labor for Palestine” notes that in addition to the Israeli government, StandWithUs lists as its “sponsors and partners” dozens of the most extreme Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian organizations active today, including CAMERA, Christians United for Israel, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Zionist Organization of America.
What You Can Do
Sign on to the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation petition in support of the CT AFL-CIO. (4,500 signers as of Thanksgiving) Get your union to pass a resolution in support of BDS
If you’re not in a union, join one
Contact one or more of these national AFL-CIO Executive Board members and urge them to speak out in favor of BDS and get the national AFL-CIO to support BDS.
If you’re in a union ask your local or international Treasurer in writing if it owns Israel Bonds and tell him/her to sell off the bonds and invest in something that would benefit U.S. workers. See one union’s answer to a letter in 2009.
Check out the rank-and-file group Labor for Palestine