UE Becomes the First National Union to Support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement
During the 2015 National UE Union Convention in Baltimore,Angaza Laughinghouse, Vice-President of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union- UE Local 150, spoke on the fundamental and internationally recognized human right of self-determination for all nations and including the “Palestinian Nation”.
Prior to the debate on the UE’s union nation convention hall floor, UE 150 and other social movement union activists conducted local, regional and national workplace/union education to raise the rank and file members’ political consciousness. The union’s “Anti-Zionist/imperialist resolution” against the Jim Crow Segregationist Israel was overwhelmingly passed by union delegates!
Despite vicious attacks, threats, legal actions ,etc. from Zionists/racist organizations against our social movement unionist position, the workplace locals and national UE Union fought back and held its ground and won against a racist National Labor Relations law suit!
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“The global BDS movement arose from a 2005 call by Palestinian trade unions and human rights groups. UE’s resolution also calls for a cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel and for U.S. support for a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return. With its resolution UE joins COSATU of South Africa, Unite the Union in Britain and many other labor unions in supporting BDS as a step toward justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.
UE represents 30,000 workers across the country in the private and public sectors. At its five-day convention member delegates acted on 37 resolutions on collective bargaining, organizing, and political issues. UE’s BDS statement upholds the union’s long tradition of courageous stands on foreign policy issues, such as being the first union to oppose the Vietnam War.
The Palestinian Postal Workers Union has written to UE in response to its resolution. “…We would like to express our deepest appreciation for the courageous resolution on “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel”… in support of our right as Palestinians to live in peace and dignity as equals on our lands…. We commend you for calling on your government to change its one-sided foreign policy that disregards human rights and harms any efforts at reaching a just peace, and for fully endorsing our call for boycott, divestment & sanctions (BDS) launched a decade ago. We sincerely hope that other national unions in the US and many other countries will follow in your footsteps. Your active solidarity warms our hearts and gives us hope that one day the working class all over will mobilize as one to help us end this brutal colonial occupation, and bring down the blockade, walls and checkpoints.”
UE General President Bruce Klipple says, “The widespread abuse of workers under the occupation is a concern for the global labor movement. We support our brothers and sisters in the labor movement who call for this peaceful protest to bring about a just peace in Israel and Palestine.”
The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, UE is an independent, member-run union representing both private and public sector workers.”