Delegates at the European Public Service Union (EPSU) congress in Dublin on 5 June discussed the current situation in Palestine and the role of trade unions in peace building.
The overwhelming majority of trade unions present voted in favor of a resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state that provides quality public service to its citizens. The resolution emphasises that the occupation has denied any prospects of a viable Palestinian economy and has contributed to one of the world’s highest unemployment rates. The EPSU resolution also highlights the damaging impact of recent actions by the Trump administration, including the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
As a result of the resolution EPSU will explore with the ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) how to effectively campaign for the implementation of human rights clauses in EU trade and association agreements. The resolution also calls on European governments to suspend arms trade with Israel.
Finally the resolution notes the establishment of the European Trade Union Network for Justice in Palestine (ETUN) and calls on EPSU to inform its affiliates about the work of the network.
ETUN welcomes this resolution, which demonstrates the support of European public service unions to the rights of the Palestinian people, and commits EPSU to work on this crucial issue.
During the Congress, ETUN held a fringe meeting “Building Solidarity with Palestinian workers” at which our representatives from Ireland, Norway, UK and Belgium explained how the occupation of Palestine is undermining public services and decent work, and how European public service unions are working in solidarity with Palestinian unions and workers to improve the situation.
The meeting also discussed ETUN’s campaigns and our new report, that will be launched this autumn, which highlights the link between decent work and European complicity to the occupation.
ETUN will continue its work in support of Palestinian workers and trade unions, and focus on European and corporate complicity. We call on European trade unions to join us and help build a stronger network to campaign for an end to the occupation and for Palestinian workers’ rights.