Australia: Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) Adopts BDS

The CFMEU (Construction Forestry, Mining and Electricity Union) national executive have a adopted a position supporting selective BDS. This means the union has become first Union in Australia to adopt a national postion on BDS.

Palestinian Resolution of the CFMEU National Executive Committee – May 12, 2010

The CFMEU National Executive in October 2009 discussed the latest state of affairs regarding the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict and considered information regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) approach being adopted by some national trade union centres.

The CFMEU Executive resolved to invite the Palestinian Ambassador to Australia to address the CFMEU’s NEC and then consider our union’s approach to this matter further.

The NEC heard from Izzat Abdulhadi at its February meeting and considered the arguments for a boycott of products and goods produced in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Since that time further provocations have been forthcoming from the current aggressive Netanyahu regime including the announcement of the construction of fresh settlements during the visit of US Vice President Biden and the use of false passports (including forged Australian documents) in the Dubai killing of a Hamas official.

Most recently following the debate at the UK TUC Congress, the TUC have joined with the call for a selective consumer boycott of goods produced by Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under the general banner of the global ‘BDS’ campaign. This has been assisted by recent UK Government moves to clearly label such goods as coming from occupied Palestine.

With comrades Mal Tulloch and David Forde who have just returned from a tour of the Occupied Territories during the recent APHEDA visit to Israel and Palestine furnishing us with detailed information on the Palestinian situation, the CFMEU is now in a position to adopt a considered approach on a union wide level.

In all the circumstances the CFMEU believes that a boycott of products made in the illegal settlements is justified and is the kind of solidarity action that can send a message loud and clear to the Netanyahu government.

The CFMEU further resolves that we will argue for this approach in the forums of the labour movement in Australia including the ACTU and the ALP and that we will also argue for it in international forums as appropriate.

The approach recommended on the BDS question remains one aspect of the broad solidarity and support that should be rendered to the long suffering Palestinian people until a just and lasting peace is secured with a durable two state solution.

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