Support Pours in for Zim Lines Picket

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions | Palestinian Boycott National CommitteeUK Palestine Solidarity Committee | Oakland Education Association | Cuban Workers Central CTC

From the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee:

Message from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

To our respected sisters, brothers and comrades in the trade unions, labor councils and workers’ organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the beginning of the workers’ struggles in your country – the United States of America – international solidarity has been a constant part of workers’ organizing and struggle in solidarity with workers and people facing injustice everywhere in the world. We, the workers and the people of Palestine are suffering under oppression of the Israeli occupation of our land and people. This occupation began long ago, the longest-lasting occupation of the modern era.

As people who cherish life and wish to live in freedom, we look to and call upon ourfellow workers of the world, particularly today our friends of truth, democracy and freedom in the San Francisco Bay Area to take a stand of courage alongside Palestinian workers to obtain justice and freedom for the workers and people of Palestine. We call upon you to support our struggle to obtain our liberty, practice our self-determination, and build a sovereign, democratic Palestine, like all other nations on earth.

Dear brothers and sisters, trade unionists, workers, and people of the San Francisco Bay Area, we remember and salute your historic and massive action on the docks in 1984, when you acted to boycott the apartheid regime in South Africa.

We look to you today from the Gaza Strip and all of Palestine, and call upon you to repeat that courageous stand today. This genuine solidarity is something we have longed for and expected. As you are responding to our appeal, we expected from you nothing less because of your history of defending the oppressed, including our people suffering under Israeli occupation, and your stand in opposition to the attack on the unarmed Gaza Freedom Flotilla seeking to deliver humanitarian assistance to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza. Your action today is a milestone ininternational solidarity from honest and brave U.S. workers and trade unionists.

Greetings to you from the trade unionists and workers of Palestine…from the trade unionists and workers trapped in Gaza, seeking freedom…from the entire world who cares for humanity, freedom, justice, progress, and to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On behalf of your brothers, sisters and comrades in the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions,

Manawell Abdul-Al
Executive Committee Member
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions
June 19, 2010

Letter From UK Palestine Solidarity Committee To ILWU President McEllrath

ILWU President Bob McEllrath

17 June 2010

Dear Pres. McEllrath,
I write to congratulate ILWU Local 10 and its membership for their response to the Israeli act of piracy on the high seas and murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla, immediately condemned by both the International Transportworkers Federation and the International Dockworkers Council.

The Flotilla aimed to break the ongoing siege of Gaza, still under Israeli military control following the invasion of Dec 2008 – Jan 2009 which killed 1400 Palestinians, mainly civilians including 300 children. The International Committee of the Red Cross condemns the siege as “collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law”, and states “The only sustainable solution is to lift the closure”.

In Feb 2009 the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and to the ITF, refused to handle the Zim Lines ship “Johanna Russ”, which had sailed from Haifa at the height of the Israeli bombardment.

Next week, the IDC-affiliated Swedish Dockworkers Union and the ITF-affiliated Norwegian Transportworkers Union will begin a joint blockade of trade with Israel. As the Swedish Dockworkers Union states, the action aims to influence the Israeli government to “Lift the illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza, which has been going on for over three years” and to “Allow an independent, international inquiry into Israel’s boarding of the Freedom Flotilla (of which the Swedish Ship to Gaza was a member) in international waters” [4]

The Scandinavian blockade responds to an appeal last week from the entire Palestinian trade union movement, calling on dockers worldwide to boycott shipping trade with Israel “until Israel complies fully with international law and ends its illegal siege of Gaza”.

As with the battle to end South African apartheid and the military occupation of Namibia, action by trade unionists in solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts will be decisive and can impose a real price on Israel’s continued systematic racist discrimination against the Palestinian people and defiance of international law.

I hope and trust that the ILWU will uphold its very proud record of international solidarity this weekend.

Yours in solidarity

Greg Dropkin
Liverpool Friends of Palestine


ILWU Secretary-Treasurer William Adams
ILWU Local 10 President Richard Mead
ILWU Local 10 Secretary-Treasurer Farless Dailey
ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member Jack Heyman

Oakland Education Association OEA Calls On ILWU Longshore Workers Not To Load and Unload Ships From Israel

June 18, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the ILWU,

At the June 2, 2010 Executive Board meeting of the Oakland Education Association, the following motion was passed:

“Consistent with our position on Gaza adopted in February 2009, the OEA condemns the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla, calls for the lifting of the blockade, reaffirms the right of both Palestinians and Jews to live in Israel-Palestine, and supports an action by transportation workers nationally and internationally who refuse to handle military-related cargo destined for the Israeli Defense Forces.”

We join with the United Nations and Amnesty International, along with numerous international and national trade union organizations, including the Educational International, in condemning the Israeli commando attack on the Free Gaza Aid Flotilla and call for an impartial and independent international investigation of the attack.

We call on our brothers and sisters of the ILWU not to load or unload the Israeli ship docking at Stevedore Services of America. We recall the action of longshoremen in San Francisco in 1984 when they refused to unload a ship carrying South African cargo, which mobilized the anti-apartheid movement worldwide and was the inspiration for similar actions globally. And we remember May 19, 2007, when Oakland teachers and longshore workers shut down the same war shipping profiteer Stevedore Services of America in the Port of Oakland for a day as teachers demanded that Port revenues be used for the schools and other social services, not for war. We salute the ILWU for your long and proud history of supporting social justice.

In solidarity,

Betty Olson-Jones
President, Oakland Education Association
(510) 763-4020 x15
272 E. 12th Street
Oakland, CA 94606

Cuban Workers Central CTC Backs Labor Boycott Of Israeli Ship In Oakland California On June 20, 2010

Havana, June 18, 2010

To: Tim Paulson, Executive Director, San Francisco Labor Council

Robert McEllrath, President
International Longshore and Warehouse Union

William Harvey, President
Alameda Labor Council

The Cuban workers support the just protest of the workers and community of the San Francisco Bay Area that will take place on June 20 against the cruel and inhumane blockade which the Israeli government maintains in the Gaza Strip, depriving thousands of women, children and men of the most basic rights, especially the right to life.

Our people have lived for more than 50 years under an unjust and abominable blockade by the United States government. Therefore, we understand very well how the Palestinian people feel and we will always be in solidarity with their just cause. Today, we send you our most sincere support.

Long Live the Solidarity of the Working Class!
End the Blockade of Gaza!
Respect and Justice for the Palestinian People!

Carmen Godínez
America Coordinator
Department of International Relations
Cuban Workers Central (CTC)

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee applauds the planned Labor and Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Line ship

Occupied Palestine, June 17, 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, whose membership includes the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement salutes all trade union branches, trade union activists and people of conscience in the San Francisco Bay area who have responded to the Palestinian trade union movement’s appeal issued June 8, 2010, [1] that called for taking effective and concrete measures to block Israel’s maritime trade in response to its massacre of humanitarian relief workers and activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla. The planned Labor and Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Line ship will be a moral and principled display of solidarity with Palestinian workers and the people of Palestine.

The global trade union movement, especially the dockworkers component of it, has once again demonstrated its courage and commitment to human rights by adopting concrete, ground-breaking labor-led sanctions against oppressive regimes in a show of effective solidarity with oppressed peoples around the world. Inspired by the courage of dockworkers unions around the world that boycotted South African maritime trade during the anti-apartheid struggle, trade unions are once again taking the lead in defending the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, freedom, the application of the right of return for our refugees, and an end to Israeli occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee warmly salutes all those that that stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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