The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) overwhelmingly endorsed a recommendation to boycott Israeli goods and produce as well as “review” its relationship with the Histadrut ) yesterday at its annual congress, reports Trade Union Friends of Israel.
This follows a two-year “consultation” process by the STUC into the merits of a boycott, sanctions and disinvestment (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Commenting on the STUC’s decision, Roger Lyons, Chair of Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI), said:
“It’s a sad day when fellow trade unionists take such a one-sided, totally unproductive approach to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Instead of calling for disruptive boycotts, we believe that the British trade union movement should be aiding their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts in lending practical solidarity and support for positive co-operation. All this boycott will do is divide the two communities further.”
“We, at TUFI, will continue to work with progressive unions across the world who are endeavoring to work for trade union values with both Israelis and Palestinians”.
TUFI has always argued that calling for boycotts of Israel is not the right approach for trade unions because:
• The economic relationship between the Palestinian and Israeli economies is vitally important to the peace process: economic boycotts against Israel can only damage this.
• Both the Histadrut (Israeli TUC) and the PGFTU (Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions) DO NOT want boycotts but want to continue working together for peace. It is our duty as trade unionists to support them; to show solidarity with their positive efforts rather than call for disruptive boycotts.
• Simplistic and non-constructive efforts in the form of misguided resolutions is not the right approach for trade unions to help, especially when there are a number of positive measures that can express practical solidarity without calling for a boycott.