Almost unanimously, delegates at CUPWâs national convention held April 13-17 2008 voted to support a resolution calling for a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel last week. CUPW is the first national union in North America to take this stance.
The resolution takes up the Palestinian call for BDS issued in July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, parties and unions, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, and commits the CUPW to:
Â· âSupport the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194;
Â· Work with Palestinian solidarity and human rights organizations in developing an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the state of Israel and Canadaâs support for these practices;
Â· Research the Canadian involvement in the occupation of Palestine;
Â· Call on other Canadian unions to lobby against the apartheid like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the Israeli-West Bank wall.â
The CUPW places this resolution within its commitment to international workers solidarity and points out that the âCUPW has a strong history of calling for peace in conflict situations and acting in solidarity with workers around the world. CUPW protested the Vietnam War, supported the disarmament movement, opposed South Africaâs apartheid regime and opposed the bombing of Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.â
While so far no work floor actions are planned to block the processing of mail destined for Israel, the union understands the resolution to commit it to ensure contracts and business do not go to Israeli companies and companies that financially support Israel. CUPW will lobby other unions to do the same.
CUPW states that it will:
Â· âLook at all its investments to ensure none are in Israeli companies,
Â· Implement a policy to ensure no products purchased by CUPW are made by Israeli companies, and
Â· Provide information to CUPW regions, locals and members on boycott, divestment and sanctions in order to encourage all levels of the union to engage in this campaign.â
Resolutions on the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign were submitted by locals and were adopted at regional conferences. The NEB also submitted a resolution.
Full Text of CUPW resolution 338/339:
Â· Continue to demand that Israel immediately end all military assaults and abide completely by the most recent and unanimous Security Council resolution calling on them to do so.
Â· Call for and actively work towards an end to the suicide bombings, military assaults and other acts of violence that take the lives of innocent people and demand that the IsraeliâWest Bank barrier be immediately torn down.
Â· Demand that the Israeli Government immediately withdraw from the occupied territories and abide by UN resolution 242.
Â· Call on the Canadian government to increase humanitarian aid to Palestinians that have been affected by the ongoing conflict.
Â· Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian peopleâs inalienable right to self- determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Â· With Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israel state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
Â· Commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on other Canadian unions to join us in lobbying against the apartheid like practices of the Israel state and call for immediate dismantling of the wall.
We want to do this for these reasons:
BECAUSE no lasting peace can be created unless there is implementation of international law, United Nations resolutions and respect for the human rights of both Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis equally.
BECAUSE 35 years ago, the United Nations Security Council unanimously called for Israel to withdraw from territories it invaded in 1967 (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem) in resolution 242.
BECAUSE Israel has refused to implement resolution 242 for 40 years and, moreover, has illegally established Jewish-only settlements in these areas in further violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
BECAUSE the Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.
BECAUSE over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;
BECAUSE the barrier severely restricts the movement of and work possibilities for Palestinians, violates international law, is partially built on land confiscated from Palestinians and is not a way to create lasting peace and security.
BECAUSE CUPW has a constitutional policy in favour of peace and disarmament and has consistently worked within the Canadian labour movement to pressure the Canadian government to promote peaceful solutions in the face of war.
BECAUSE the Canadian government cut funding for the Palestinian Authority after Hamas was democratically elected