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ACTION ALERT: First National Union Endorses BDS!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
September 5th, 2015

What better news to share after Labor Day -- a day to honor and recognize the achievements of workers -- than the thrilling news that the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) has become the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions)! 

At last monthís UE National Convention in Baltimore, delegates passed a powerful resolution calling for BDS, an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and specifically for the right of return for Palestinian refugees. 

Predictably, UE is facing major backlash for its courageous decision. Please take a moment following Labor Day to show your support for UEís principled stance: Sign this thank-you petition! 

Progressive unions like UE are part of a proud tradition of labor on the front lines of social justice struggles, using boycotts as a tool to achieve political and economic rights. UE in particular has waged "trail-blazing campaigns" for workplace equality for women and Black workers, and was also the first union to oppose the Vietnam War, long before others were taking a stand. This principled action marks a turning point in this country, a possible new tide of U.S. workers standing together with Palestinian workers in opposing oppression and exploitation wherever they occur.

But we need to show UE and other unions watching that we have their backs. Thank UE with just a click now!

UE Delegates at the National Conference that Endorsed BDS, Right of Return

UE General President Bruce Klipple explained, "The widespread abuse of workers under the occupation is a concern for the global labor movement. We support our brothers and sisters in the labor movement who call for this peaceful protest to bring about a just peace in Israel and Palestine."

Palestinian workers face severe labor violations as part of Israelís broader oppressive occupation and apartheid regime. Israelís destruction of the Palestinian economy leaves many Palestinians with no choice but to work for Israeli companies, where they are subject to separate laws from their Jewish Israeli worker counterparts. They endure grueling hours with no breaks and low pay, while they have no right to unionize. Some Palestinians are forced to collaborate with Israeli security forces to receive work permits for factories with no job security and abysmal health and safety conditions. Israelís exploitation of Palestinian child labor is equally widespread and dangerous.

The Palestinian Postal Workers Union responded to UEís decision with powerful encouragement: "We sincerely hope that other national unions in the US and many other countries will follow in your footsteps. Your active solidarity warms our hearts and gives us hope that one day the working class all over will mobilize as one to help us end this brutal colonial occupation, and bring down the blockade, walls and checkpoints."

Please show UE some love and pave the way for more such resolutions by signing this thank-you petition to the UE!

UAW Local 2865, which represents 13,000 graduate employees of the University of California, also endorsed BDS last year on the state level. Letís make sure these recent steps are the beginning of something bigger by showing our support now, when itís needed most.

P.S. Will you also share the petition on social media, including Facebook (click here) and Twitter (click here)?

You can also Like UE on Facebook!