Firefighters, PCS lend more union backing for boycott
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Firefighters, PCS lend more union backing for boycott

Following the recent policy passed by the Fire Brigades’ Union and the Scottish TUC, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union passed policy on 20 May supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions.

In mid-May, delegates to the UK Fire Brigades’ Union conference supported a boycott of Israeli goods. Delegates also called for solidarity with the Palestinian people, recalling that the Fire Brigades’ Union was one of the first to lend support to the South African struggle. Delegates based their support for BDS on opposition to policies of ethnic cleansing, specifically the construction of the Apartheid Wall.

Later in the month the PCS also voted in support of BDS. Moved by Hugh Lanning, PCS Deputy General Secretary and also the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)’s chair, the motion demanded that the British government end arms sales to Occupation forces, called for the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, called on the TUC to condemn Histadrut’s statement in January 2009 which supported the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza, and to ‘campaign for the British trade union movement to support calls for a consumer boycott of Israeli goods from Palestinian trade unions and civil organisations’. The motion also encouraged branches ‘to affiliate to and support activities of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’.

Hana Joma from the PGFTU addressed the conference just before the motion was moved, and received a standing ovation for her speech, where she told the delegates of the horrors faced by Palestinian women living under occupation. Also speaking at a number of PCS meetings were Fathi Naser from the PGFTU, and Webhe Badarne and Marie Badarne from Sawt el-Amel (The Laborer’s Voice).