SEIU 721 for Palestine: members call for leadership support to end the genocide

Original online here and here.

As rank & file members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721, we understand the power of collective worker action to confront and dismantle oppression. We are deeply troubled by the ongoing attacks and siege on the Palestinian people, as well as attacks on people supporting Palestinian liberation, all enabled by our government and tax dollars.

As the largest public sector union in Southern California, our labor keeps our society running. We have the opportunity and responsibility to leverage our collective power and push for an end to the genocide in Palestine.

Our fellow union workers in Palestine are calling upon us as organized workers to support their struggle against genocide and apartheid – we heed their call, and ask our union to adopt the following:

  1. Join the growing call from unions across the world to stop the genocide of Palestinians.
  2. Call for an end to the siege on Gaza and the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
  3. Pressure President Biden to end military assistance to Israel.
  4. Publicly declare support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
  5. Commit to no retaliation against staff or members who support Palestinian liberation.

Read on for the full letter to SEIU 721 leadership. Then…



International SEIU Petition: Purple Up for Palestine

Palestinian Trade Unions Call for Global Worker Solidarity

To: SEIU 721 President David Green and SEIU 721 Leadership
From: [Your Name]

[Petition text last updated 5-30-24. Signatures will be updated periodically]

Dear Mr. Green,

SEIU 721 union members are joining SEIU 1021, and 1199 with the following demands:

1. Stopping the genocide of Palestinians: Join the growing calls from unions and workers across the globe in a public statement demanding that Israel immediately end its armed offensive against the Palestinian people.

2. Ending the siege on Gaza: We echo the call made by our siblings in the labor movement for water, fuel, food, and other humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza, and electricity to be restored.

3. Refusing to further arm Israel: Pressure Biden, SEIU’s endorsed presidential candidate, to end military funding & assistance to Israel and pressure Israel to end its genocide in Gaza.

4. Publicly declaring support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement initiated by Palestinian trade unions. Specifically, the students/faculty of Occidental College, USD and LMU who are fellow 721 members, have begun encampments in protest of their college or university investing in businesses that support Israel’s genocidal campaign. SEIU 721 must support and protect their members through a public statement and actions against retaliation.

5. Not retaliating against staff or members for supporting Palestinian liberation: Protect all workers from retaliation for expressing and acting on their commitment, aligned with SEIU values, to lead the way to a more just and equitable world by calling for an end to another colonial occupation and apartheid system.

We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of all attacks on innocent civilian lives. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken, including the Palestinians taken and imprisoned by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

As rank and file members in service of our communities, we are deeply troubled by the worsening conditions in Gaza. Food, water, and medicine are urgently needed to save the lives of Palestinian civilians who are currently being denied these basic needs. We reject the notion that Israel’s attacks on
hospitals filled with patients, apartment blocks filled with families, and the deaths of 35,000+ people, with 25,000+ being Palestinian women and children, are acceptable collateral damage. We demand an immediate ceasefire, as a minimum; and complete liberation of all Palestinians from occupation.

These war crimes are being enabled by the U.S government by providing Israel with over 3 billion dollars of funding every year. Now, Joe Biden has allocated an additional 26 billion dollars of funding for Israel to support this genocidal campaign. Meanwhile, the working-class in the US suffers from rising cost of living, suffocating debt crises and stagnant wages. Our taxpayer dollars should instead be allocated to fund healthcare, public education, and other social services that meet the needs of workers and the communities we serve as SEIU Members.

International humanitarian law and the laws of war must be upheld without exception, which include the inviolability of healthcare facilities, schools and journalists. Nothing can justify the war crimes and breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed by Israel against Palestinians.

The world community and all parties involved must commit to a permanent ceasefire, demand that the U.S. government end its funding of Israel, boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, and protect SEIU members and staff from retaliation.

SEIU 721 Members

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