UK: TSSA votes to support anti-Israel boycott

TSSA,  the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Associationrepresents 30,000 administrative, managerial, professional and technical workers in the railway, London Underground, the travel trade, ports and ferries.   It’s currently holding its annual conference and this morning announced that it had voted to link up with the international campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to achieve freedom and equality for the Palestinian people. The move comes days after the word’s most famous scientist, Stephen Hawking, backed the initiative.The Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomed the move, saying “It is truly excellent that TSSA conference voted overwhelmingly to support the BDS campaign. “Palestinian trade unionists have appealed for our support and it is great that TSSA are now joining the TUC and many other unions in agreeing that a boycott is one of the ways in which we can help them win their freedom.” Tomorrow, Conference will hear a report back from the recent delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which visited Palestinian trade unionists and saw at first hand the impact of the decades of military occupation the population has endured.”

It is not yet clear if there was any discussion or debate, nor do we yet know if the TSSA delegation visited Israel during their trip to the region.  Trade union delegations from the UK and Australia organized by Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) always visit and meet with both Israeli and Palestinian trade unionists, and form a more balanced view of the conflict.

According to the website of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, TSSA is an affiliated union already, so it is not clear if this represents a change in the union position, or a hardening of its line.