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Labor for Palestine: US Union Activists Pass Support Resolutions

by repost
Rank and file workers are passing pro-Palestinian resolutions across the country, including right here in San Francisco, where the teachers' union took a firm stand for the Palestinian liberation struggle. See
Rank and file workers are passing pro-Palestinian resolutions across the country, including right here in San Francisco, where the teachers' union took a firm stand for the Palestinian liberation struggle. See

Considering this was unthinkable a few years ago, and certainly a generation ago, the above article is a salute to the current generation of Labor for Palestine activists who have taken the lead with these milestone resolutions.

"US Unions Are Voicing Unprecedented Support for Palestine" by Jeff Schuhrke, 5/31/21 at

"One of the most significant displays of U.S. labor solidarity with Palestine in recent weeks came on May 19, when the general assembly of United Educators of San Francisco, Local 61 of the AFT, voted to approve a resolution endorsing BDS — making it the first K‑12 teacher union in the United States to do so."
The resolution is at
It demands:
“Therefore, be it resolved, that United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and call for Israel to end bombardment of Gaza and stop displacement at Sheikh Jarrah.
Therefore, be it further resolved, that UESF calls on the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to stop aid to Israel.
Therefore, be it further resolved, that UESF endorse the international campaign for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid in Israel.”

"A similar BDS resolution is advancing through the elected leadership of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the second largest AFT local in the nation. According to UTLA organizer Jollene Levid, the elected representatives of over 100 East Los Angeles schools approved the resolution last Wednesday. The resolution still must be approved by two more bodies of UTLA leadership before the local formally adopts it."

"At the same time, multiple AFT-affiliated graduate worker unions — including the Graduate Labor Organization at Brown University and the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE) — put out statements of solidarity with Palestine over the past two weeks. GAGE members also joined a protest outside the Israeli embassy on May 18."

"Recently, members of the AFT-affiliated Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reiterated their 2018 call for top officials of both the AFT and Illinois Federation of Teachers to “condemn Israel’s murderous aggression and blatant human rights abuses against Palestinians.”"

"Late last week, community college instructors with AFT Local 1789 in Seattle began circulating a petition—which can be signed by all rank-and-file AFT members — demanding the union’s national leadership “issue a public statement condemning the continued oppression of Palestinians by the Israeli state.”"

"On May 13, Roofers Local 36 in Los Angeles issued a statement that condemns “human rights violations perpetrated by the Israeli state against the people of Palestine” and calls on President Biden to “immediately halt all economic and military assistance to Israel.”"

"“Imperialist aggression, ethnic cleansing and genocide are the enemy of all working people and organized labor must step forward to defend the democratic rights of oppressed peoples everywhere,” the statement says."

“Many of our members are migrants from oppressed nations, often without documentation. We’re a multinational and multicultural workforce who bond together to improve our conditions,” Cliff Smith, business manager for Roofers Local 36, told In These Times. “It’s natural for us to identify with the struggles of oppressed and working people in Palestine or anywhere else.”"

"After the Israel Defense Forces intentionally bombed a Gaza tower housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera on May 15, the NewsGuild-CWA — the union of 24,000 journalists across North America—called the bombing “a blatant attack on press freedom that was clearly intended to prevent independent reporting on the [Israeli] government’s actions.”
“Israel’s attacks on Palestine need to stop now,” said NewsGuild president Jon Schleuss."

"UNITE HERE Local 23, which represents 25,000 hospitality workers in cities across the South and Southwest, tweeted out a message of solidarity with “the Palestinians in their struggle against oppression and injustice,” while UNITE HERE Local 17, which represents 6,000 hospitality workers in Minnesota, expressed support for “all oppressed people” and made specific reference to Palestinians."

"The 8,000-member Teamsters Local 804 in New York City, comprised primarily of UPS drivers, tweeted the hashtags #SaveSheikhJarrah and #FreePalestine along with the message: “Solidarity with oppressed people across the world.”"

"At Google, members of the recently formed Alphabet Workers Union-CWA were involved in drafting a petition circulated by Jewish employees last week calling on the company to support Palestine and reject equating opposition to Zionism with antisemitism."

"Meanwhile, on May 15, the national officers of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE) — which is not an AFL-CIO affiliate — released a statement of solidarity with Palestine. The union endorsed BDS in 2015."

"Many of the AFL-CIO’s closest international allies have expressed sympathy and support for Palestinians in recent weeks, including the Canadian Labour Congress, the Trades Union Congress (in the UK), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the International Trade Union Confederation."

"Some unions abroad have gone beyond statements and taken bold action. A dockworkers union in the Italian port city of Livorno refused to load weapons bound for Israel, while a South African dockworkers union similarly boycotted an Israeli cargo ship in the port of Durban."

"In the English city of Leicester, firefighters refused calls to help remove pro-Palestine activists protesting on the roof of a drone factory, while their union said they “stand in support of Palestinian solidarity and the right to protest.”"

"The most powerful collective labor action came from Palestinians themselves when they staged a massive general strike on May 18 across all of historic Palestine. The daylong work stoppage illustrated Israel’s dependence on Palestinian workers, as construction, public transport and municipal garbage collection around the country were brought to a halt."

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