The SWC Local 2710 endorses BDS, calls on Columbia and the UAW to divest

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SWC BDS Resolution

Resolution: The SWC Local 2710 endorses BDS, calls on Columbia and the UAW to divest.
Proposal date: 5/15/2024

Whereas, in Article 4, Section 1 of the UAW Local 2710 (SWC) bylaws, SWC pledges to “[support] the struggle of all workers and oppressed peoples for a better life, by building worker-community power and standing in solidarity with other unions, movements, and like-minded organizations in their fights for social and economic justice”;

Whereas, the goals of an international workers’ movement are advanced by rejecting systems such as apartheid that privilege one particular ethnic/religious group over another;

Whereas, we recognize that occupation and apartheid, much like white supremacy, harms all peoples. Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine is illegal under international law, and experts and human rights organizations—such as Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights WatchAl-Haq and B’Tselem—agree that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians;

Whereas, there are over 5.9 million Palestinian refugees, including the descendants of those who fled or were expelled during the Nakba, and they have no legal right to return to Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). However, Jewish citizens of other countries, including those who never have been to Israel, can settle in Israel or the West Bank and become citizens;

Whereas, from October 7th through May 16th, Israel reportedly killed at least 35,272 Palestinians in Gaza, 56% of whom are women and children; injured at least 55,915; and internally displaced 1.9 million, or nearly 85% of Gaza’s population. Many more are missing, presumably under rubble, and the spread of disease has intensified. Israel displaced thousands in the West Bank, where Hamas does not govern, and Israeli forces and settlers killed at least 502 people. Israel is targeting healthcare workers and journalists and their families;

Whereas, as asserted in the UC resolution, winning divestment through our union’s 2025 contract campaign would be a necessary step towards subsequent campaigns for Columbia’s complete divestment from weapons manufacturers and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and would furthermore set a crucial precedent for all unions in the higher education sector to wage effective BDS campaigns, to win broader worker control over university investment decisions, and to ultimately reverse the financialization of higher education;

Whereas, during their successful Stand Up Strike last year, our union siblings in the auto sector set an important precedent by forcing Stellantis to both reopen a shuttered plant and to build a new EV battery plant, thereby winning partial worker control over an employer’s investment decisions;

WhereasPalestinian trade unions have called on their “counterparts internationally and all people of good conscience to end all forms of complicity with Israel’s crimes– most urgently halting the arms trade with Israel, as well as all funding and military research”;

Whereas, on May 3, 2024, a majority of UAW International Executive Board (IEB) members,

including President Shawn Fain, did not vote to divest from Israel Bonds, or take any other steps

to end UAW complicity, despite President Fain expressing UAW’s support for student

protestors and their cause only two days earlier; and

Whereas, unions worldwide are standing in solidarity with Palestinians; therefore, be it

Resolved, that SWC expresses our solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for national liberation and self-determination;

Resolved, that SWC supports taking action, both as individual members and as a unit collectively, in support of Palestinian liberation from Israeli apartheid;

Resolved, that SWC endorses the urgent call of Palestinian Trade Unions and calls on UAW and AFL-CIO to do so, too;

Resolved, that SWC opposes conflating criticism of Israel or Zionism with antisemitism;

Resolved, that SWC unequivocally condemns and opposes antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism, and anti-Palestinian racism in all of their forms;

Resolved, that  SWC endorses BDS and calls on UAW and AFL-CIO to endorse BDS and divest from all Israeli bonds;

Resolved, that SWC supports and calls on the UAW, NY State AFL-CIO, and national AFL-CIO to support Not On Our Dime legislation, which prohibits NY not-for-profit corporations from aiding or abetting activity in support of illegal Israeli settlements;

Resolved, that SWC commits to organizing for BDS as a bargaining demand up to and during our 2025 contract campaign;

Resolved, that, should circumstances justify, SWC commits to organizing and calling for a strike, through our democratic Strike Authorization Vote process, as our most powerful tactic to win these demands and to ensure that Columbia University complies with its moral and legal obligation to end its complicity in the genocide, ethnic cleansing, and colonization of the Palestinian people;

Resolved, that SWC demands that Columbia University divests from its indirect and direct holdings in weapons manufacturers and any other firms which violate BDS;

Resolved, that SWC demands that Columbia University immediately ends partnerships and dual-degree programs with academic institutions in Israel;

Resolved, that SWC condemns as undemocratic the UAW’s history of repressing and nullifying votes for BDS throughout its history, including Local 2865’s vote;

Resolved, that SWC condemns the decision of President Shawn Fain and all other IEB members to decline to vote Yes in the May 3, 2024 divestment vote, and as a result, continue the UAW’s complicity in the ongoing genocide;

Resolved, that SWC joins our union siblings in demanding the UAW IEB rescinds its endorsement of Biden over his complicity in the ongoing genocide; and

Resolved, that SWC encourages other workers, unions, and worker organizations to join the call for Palestine liberation and pass similar resolutions to that effect.

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