French trade union leader visits Israel, Palestine

La CGT.According to this report in L’Express, the general secretary of the French national trade union centre CGT, Bernard Thibault, has visited Palestine and Israel.  In the course of his visit, Thibault, who is expected to step down from his role in March, will meet with leaders of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions as well as the Histadrut in Israel.

Thibault expressed his full support for an independent Palestinian state side by side with Israel.

The CGT claims over 700,000 members and was historically close to the Communist Party, though those links were severed in the 1990s.  In 1995 it withdrew from the World Federation of Trade Unions and is today affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation.

Thibault’s views may seem commonplace in many countries, but there are also strong trends in some European countries (most notably the UK) for unions to be reluctant to meet the Histadrut, and rejection of the two-state solution.