UK: GMB union to its members - don’t visit Israel and Palestine with anti-boycott group

According to this report from the Jerusalem Post, one of the largest unions in Britain — the GMB — voted last week to prevent the organization from sending any of its members to visit Israel and Palestine on delegations organized by Trade Union Friends of Israel.

The union leadership opposed the decision which was proposed by a local activist.

In the past, GMB leaders — including some at very senior level — have gone to the region to meet Palestinian and Israel trade union leaders as part of TUFI delegations.  The reasoning behind the GMB conference decision is that (a) the union supports the boycott of Israel; (b) TUFI opposes it; (c), therefore, the union will have nothing to do with TUFI.

TUFI director Stephen Scott is quoted as saying “It’s important that British trade unionists visit the region and meet with trade unionists on both sides, supporting cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian workers, helping them to realize their hopes for a peaceful and better future. It is important to have an open, public debate about the role of the trade union movement in Israel and Palestine, and ensure that alternative voices are heard about the current situation in the Middle East.”