Scottish trade union delegation to Palestine and Israel investigates merits of Israeli boycott

February 25th 2009

A delegation of senior trade unionists from the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), will this week (Saturday 28 February 2009) depart for Palestine and Israel.

The delegation will meet with trade unionists in Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine, to investigate the merits of supporting a boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against the state of Israel until it complies with international law and agreed human rights principles.

A delegation of eleven senior Scottish trade unionists, from UNISON, the GMB union, the University and College Union, Community, the Fire Brigades Union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’, the Public and Commercial Services Union, Edinburgh Trades Council, as well as STUC officials, are participating in the seven day visit.

Speaking before departing for Israel and Palestine, delegation leader, STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“This is a very important mission for the STUC. In 2007 our Congress asked us to explore the merits of a boycott of Israel because of the Israeli state’s actions against Palestine. Over the past 18 months we have been considering the views of our affiliates and stakeholders. But it is absolutely vital that we speak directly to trade unionists in Israel and Palestine about this, and see for ourselves what is happening in the region”.

Mr Smith added: “The STUC supports a peaceful two state solution for both Israel and Palestine. We have been deeply alarmed at the Israeli attacks in Gaza, and the ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands. This delegation will report back to our Congress, taking place in April 2009 in Perth. Congress will then have the opportunity to take a decision on the issue of boycott, disinvestment and sanctions”.

ENDS

For further information:

Mary Senior, STUC office 0141 337 8100

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