As the death toll and human suffering in Gaza reaches staggering proportions, the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325 continues to face an unprecedented witch-hunt against pro-Palestine speech for our “Resolution Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza, an End to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, and Support for Workers’ Political Speech.” The resolution, issued in response to the urgent appeal from Palestinian trade unions, was overwhelmingly adopted on December 19, 2023 by a landslide democratic membership vote of 1067-570 (65%-35%). The UAW 2325 resolution calls not only for an immediate permanent ceasefire, but for an end to Israeli apartheid, the occupation of Palestinian land, and all military aid to Israel. Moreover, the resolution endorses the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement; demands the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland; and condemns the vicious threats, intimidation, and scrutiny workers around the world have faced for standing in solidarity with Palestine. 

On March 11, 2024, the notoriously anti-union House Committee on Education and the Workforce (HCEW)—the same committee attacking pro-Palestine speech on college campuses—retaliated by issuing a subpoena demanding production of documents concerning the adoption of our Palestine solidarity resolution on the false conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism. While university presidents, most recently Minouche Shafik of Columbia University, have thus far groveled before and pandered to HCEW in a desperate attempt to ward off bad-faith smears of antisemitism, we refuse to bow to such intimidation. We will neither entertain nor cooperate with the false narrative that our resolution, supported in large part by Jewish union members, is in any way antisemitic. HCEW is masquerading its true purpose, which is to silence constitutionally-protected pro-Palestine speech. 

We are proud of our union for respecting the Palestinian trade union picket line and for refusing to comply with HCEW’s McCarthyite demands for materials not already in the public record. We also stand in solidarity with all facing attacks from institutions like the HCEW, including the brave students at Columbia University and other educational institutions, whose own administrations have thrown them to the wolves, and those facing immense threats to their education, employment, and physical safety for demanding their universities divest from genocide. The revolutionary actions we are witnessing today echo those of earlier generations of students who also faced violent intimidation for their protests against racism, the Vietnam war, apartheid South Africa, war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and previous chapters in a century of Israeli settler colonialism. The ALAA has a long tradition of protesting injustice, both at home and abroad, and will continue to support those fighting for our collective liberation. 

ALAA is not only under attack from Congress, but from a lawsuit filed by the “Liberty Justice Center” (LJC), a right-wing, union-busting litigation mill responsible for Janus v. AFSCME, in which the Supreme Court issued a devastating blow to public-sector unions by eliminating dues or agency fees for workers who seek to benefit from union contracts without being union members. Now, LJC has sued UAW 2325 on behalf of two former union members at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, both of whom quit the union in 2022 following its “Resolution on Divestment from Israel Bonds and on Transparency in Investments funded through Union Membership Dues.” As in Janus, the LJC lawsuit attacks the union dues structure that the labor movement relies upon to advocate for workers, under the bad-faith guise of protecting Jewish legal service workers from being forced to support “antisemitic resolutions.” 

This union-busting lawsuit is the second time in six months that UAW 2325 has been sued frivolously by bad-faith actors. While the resolution was overwhelmingly passed by ALAA membership, small numbers of Zionists, refusing to accept the vote’s outcome, have sought to undermine union democracy by weaponizing the legal system in an attempt to silence mushrooming Palestine solidarity within the labor movement and to dismantle unions altogether.

UAW Local 2325 Labor for Palestine, a rank-and-file caucus and member group of the Labor for Palestine National Network, is bolstered by this immense growth of Palestine labor solidarity. We will not be intimidated, neither by Congress nor bogus lawsuits, from speaking out against US-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza and throughout historic Palestine. We will never bow to the racist, Zionist bullies who seek to silence and punish us for our unwavering support of a liberated Palestine. We will continue to stand by our democratically-adopted Palestine solidarity resolution and for our right as workers to speak out against injustice, wherever it may be. We ask and expect US labor leaders to show the same level of courage as rank-and-file workers. 

  • For all these reasons, we call upon UAW President Shawn Fain and the UAW International Executive Board to go beyond empty ceasefire gestures by immediately 
  1. Speaking out publicly in support of UAW 2325 and all UAW members who engage in pro-Palestine speech and advocacy—particularly Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab workers—from doxxing, surveillance, and repression within and beyond the workplace;
  2. Demanding that the United States government immediately halt all aid and military support to Israel;
  3. Divesting our union and employers from Israel Bonds and from the military, extractive, and technological industries connected with the Israeli occupation and U.S. imperialism;
  4. Terminating UAW’s ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee;

We similarly call on all U.S. labor to actively oppose the witch-hunt against labor solidarity with Palestine, and to stand with workers in demanding not only an immediate and permanent ceasefire, but a free Palestine from the river to the sea. 

Within our lifetime, and solidarity,
UAW 2325 Labor for Palestine

April 26, 2024

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