Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary speaks against boycotting Israel

The Australian Workers Union believes that “a-worker-is-a-worker-is-a-worker“.

Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP) has a transcript of a recent speech against boycotting Israel by its national secretary Paul Howes.

“I am proud of the fact that our union believes in, and supports, democratic societies, democratic institutions. I am proud to say our union has a long history of supporting the building of democratic civil society groups – like unions.

Well, how am I to apply AWU tradition in the context of the Middle East? I think I am upholding that union tradition when I work to support the development of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions as an independent, democratic, civic society institution.

I think I am upholding that union tradition as I stand with the union movements of both Israel and Palestine, as they fight for workers rights on both sides of the Green Line.I think I am upholding that union tradition when I support the trust-building co-operative projects that the Israeli trade union movement – led by the Histadrut – and the Palestinian trade union movement – led by the PGFTU – are promoting.

If you truly believe that a-worker-is-a-worker-is-a-worker then the function of any trade union is to ensure fair pay for a fair day’s work and a safe and healthy workplace. This applies to an Israeli worker , this applies to a Palestinian worker. I can’t see how you can discriminate between an Israeli worker and a Palestinian worker. (Let alone a foreign worker from Asia or Africa working in Israel).

Our task now is to support and ensure that trade unions – Israeli or Palestinian – have the capacity to address these issues; and to do so co-operatively. It is because of these principles that I joined with fellow union leaders in the UK and the USA to establish Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP).

That leads me to the new threat to Israel – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).”

Read it all.

One Response to “Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary speaks against boycotting Israel”

  1. Lynne T Says:

    Read the whole thing. Paul Howes raises excellent points about the origins of BDS vs the boycott against South Africa and the real goal of the BDS movements’ leaders being the elimination of Israel.


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