Palestinian progressive labor activists call for Histadrut boycott

The Palestinian Progressive Labor Action Front called upon all international and Arab trade unions, labor organizations and workers’ associations, especially the International Labor Organization and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, to boycott the Histadrut. In a statement on January 4, 2009, the PLAF emphasized that the Histadrut is no ordinary trade union and is instead, part and parcel of the racist occupation state and its military machine.

The PLAF emphaszed that Palestinian workers inside the Green line are subjected to policies of capture and pursuit until death, calling for unity in the face of these crimes that have led to the death of 33 Palestinian workers in the past year and the arrest of over 6500 Palestinian workers by Israeli occupation forces. The PLAF statement emphasized that the Histadrut has done next to nothing to protect Palestinian workers inside the Green Line, and called for economic and political sanctions against and isolation of the Histadrut and all other institutions of the Israeli state.

The statement condemned the arrest of sixty Palestinian workers who were locked in a truck in very dangerous conditions in the Bir Saba region, whose sole concern was to get jobs to provide their families and children with a means of living. The PLAF emphasized the magnitude of the tragedy faced by the Palestinian people, including high rates of unemployment, poverty and lack of access to work in local institutions and the weakness and lack of support for any programs or bodies to fight this problem on an official level, that drive workers into unsafe and dangerous situations and the occupation death traps, in pursuit of work.

The PLAF called upon Palestinian trade unions to resolve their internal problems and take action on the issues that concern our workers and demand that all official bodies place a priority on supporting Palestinian workers as part of the national struggle, and for all to work to develop alternative opportunities for Palestinian workers, other than settlement work and the occupation industrial zones built on our stolen land by the occupation and the settlers.

The statement called for a democratic and comprehensive rebuilding of the Palestinian labor union movement in order to play its necessary role in the national struggle to raise the issues and concerns of workers, combat the continuing abuse of workers by occupation forces and settlers.

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