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labor International Support Enables Victory of Egyptian Union

Coordinated international labor action has resulted in a victory as dismissed trade union leaders in Egypt were reinstated. One lesson of this struggle is that the power of global worker solidarity can transcend sharp national conflicts to win campaigns.

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A press conference highlighting the struggles of Egyptian workers punished for exercising their rights took place at the Press Club in Cairo on 14 September 2013.,

In July 2012, more than two years ago, the Egyptian division of Mondelez International (previously Kraft Foods International) suspended five members of the executive committee of a union in Alexandria that dared to declare itself independent. The same American-owned and managed global food company also disciplined union activists at Mondelez plants in Tunisia and Pakistan for similar reasons.

In response the IUF (Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers Worldwide) organized a global “Screamdelez” campaign joined by its member unions on every continent. From Pakistan and Tunisia, through North America and Western Europe to Eastern Europe, Mondelez workers and their unions demonstrated to support their Egyptian counterparts. Hundreds of supporters around the world sent protest messages through the LabourStart international website to Irene Rosenthal, Mondelez CEO.

As a result of this campaign, Mondelez agreed to negotiate with the IUF, and following a meeting in Alexandria on July 9th the five executive board members were reinstated to their jobs with full retroactive back pay and benefits. Elections for the new term of the union executive committee at the plant will take place shortly. All five former union executive committee members will be entitled to stand.

In a last effort to avoid reinstating the union officers, local management argued:”But we don’t know how to reinstate them since no company has ever had to do that in Egypt before!” But the Egyptian result may become a precedent for Mondelez workers in other countries. The IUF and Mondelez International jointly stated that:

“This brings the long-running labour conflict in Alexandria to an end. Both local parties have committed to seek to resolve future challenges in a good-faith and constructive manner and, beyond Egypt, Mondelez International and the IUF have agreed “to discuss the lessons learnt from this conflict.”

One lesson for all trade unionists is the power of global worker solidarity, in winning campaigns that can even transcend sharp national conflicts.  During the Screamdelez campaign delegates at the IUF EECA regional meeting, held in Kyiv {Kiev} on November 4-5, 2013 concluded their discussion on trade union development by a symbolic action in support of the struggling Mondelez workers in Egypt, Pakistan and world-wide. The participants included union leaders and activists from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Palestinian trade union movement, with support from with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the two weeks of the latest Israeli military aggression in the Gaza strip, whole families have been wiped out, and over 600 Palestinians have been killed, almost 80% of them civilians and a third of them children. Over 1.8 million Palestinians are trapped in an occupied and besieged small piece of land that Israel has turned into an open-air prison, subject to daily bombardment by Israeli rockets and heavy artillery. For seven years, Palestinians in Gaza have been under a brutal and illegal siege whose purpose is to destroy the conditions of life and break the spirit of the people. The siege and the recurrent bombing have created a humanitarian catastrophe, with critical shortages of water, food, and medical supplies. Freedom of movement, the right to education and access to health services have been extensively denied by the Israeli occupation.

Israel’s goal in this latest aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is to perpetuate the occupation. This year we mark ten years since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the construction of Israel’s wall and its associated regime in the occupied Palestinian West Bank – of settlements, land confiscation, separate roads, permit systems and movement restrictions – is illegal under international law. Yet in ten years the international community has allowed Israel to continue construction on occupied territory and continue its system of occupation, apartheid and colonialism against the Palestinian people.

While governments prevaricate and allow Israel to act with utter impunity, and most of the mainstream media parrots Israel’s Orwellian propaganda, civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa. In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.

We ask you to consider the following actions:

  1. Stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel,
  2. Divest your trade union pension — and other — funds from Israel Bonds as well as from corporations and banks that complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations,
  3. Dissociate from Israeli trade unions which are complicit in the occupation
  4. Support our call for a military embargo on Israel
  5. Share information with your members about the siege and destruction of Gaza and ask your members to boycott Israeli products and to share their knowledge with family, co-workers, and friends.

Today more than ever, solidarity with Palestinians workers and their families in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory is an essential component of progressive, principled trade union politics. Given the complete failure and unwillingness of governments to hold Israel accountable to international law there is widespread recognition that Israel’s occupation must be isolated by the pressure of civil society.

We rely on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to continue a proud tradition of international solidarity and to stand with us as you stood with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Issued by the following Palestinian trade unions:
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Workers
Union of Professional Associations
Federation of Independent Trade Unions

With the support of:
Congress of South African Trade Unions

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/stand-with-palestinian-workers-in-gaza-…

The Palestinian trade union movement, with support from with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the two weeks of the latest Israeli military aggression in the Gaza strip, whole families have been wiped out, and over 600 Palestinians have been killed, almost 80% of them civilians and a third of them children. Over 1.8 million Palestinians are trapped in an occupied and besieged small piece of land that Israel has turned into an open-air prison, subject to daily bombardment by Israeli rockets and heavy artillery. For seven years, Palestinians in Gaza have been under a brutal and illegal siege whose purpose is to destroy the conditions of life and break the spirit of the people. The siege and the recurrent bombing have created a humanitarian catastrophe, with critical shortages of water, food, and medical supplies. Freedom of movement, the right to education and access to health services have been extensively denied by the Israeli occupation.

Israel’s goal in this latest aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is to perpetuate the occupation. This year we mark ten years since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the construction of Israel’s wall and its associated regime in the occupied Palestinian West Bank – of settlements, land confiscation, separate roads, permit systems and movement restrictions – is illegal under international law. Yet in ten years the international community has allowed Israel to continue construction on occupied territory and continue its system of occupation, apartheid and colonialism against the Palestinian people.

While governments prevaricate and allow Israel to act with utter impunity, and most of the mainstream media parrots Israel’s Orwellian propaganda, civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa. In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.

We ask you to consider the following actions:

  1. Stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel,
  2. Divest your trade union pension — and other — funds from Israel Bonds as well as from corporations and banks that complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations,
  3. Dissociate from Israeli trade unions which are complicit in the occupation
  4. Support our call for a military embargo on Israel
  5. Share information with your members about the siege and destruction of Gaza and ask your members to boycott Israeli products and to share their knowledge with family, co-workers, and friends.

Today more than ever, solidarity with Palestinians workers and their families in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory is an essential component of progressive, principled trade union politics. Given the complete failure and unwillingness of governments to hold Israel accountable to international law there is widespread recognition that Israel’s occupation must be isolated by the pressure of civil society.

We rely on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to continue a proud tradition of international solidarity and to stand with us as you stood with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Issued by the following Palestinian trade unions:
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Workers
Union of Professional Associations
Federation of Independent Trade Unions

With the support of:
Congress of South African Trade Unions

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/stand-with-palestinian-workers-in-gaza-…

The Palestinian trade union movement, with support from with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the two weeks of the latest Israeli military aggression in the Gaza strip, whole families have been wiped out, and over 600 Palestinians have been killed, almost 80% of them civilians and a third of them children. Over 1.8 million Palestinians are trapped in an occupied and besieged small piece of land that Israel has turned into an open-air prison, subject to daily bombardment by Israeli rockets and heavy artillery. For seven years, Palestinians in Gaza have been under a brutal and illegal siege whose purpose is to destroy the conditions of life and break the spirit of the people. The siege and the recurrent bombing have created a humanitarian catastrophe, with critical shortages of water, food, and medical supplies. Freedom of movement, the right to education and access to health services have been extensively denied by the Israeli occupation.

Israel’s goal in this latest aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is to perpetuate the occupation. This year we mark ten years since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the construction of Israel’s wall and its associated regime in the occupied Palestinian West Bank – of settlements, land confiscation, separate roads, permit systems and movement restrictions – is illegal under international law. Yet in ten years the international community has allowed Israel to continue construction on occupied territory and continue its system of occupation, apartheid and colonialism against the Palestinian people.

While governments prevaricate and allow Israel to act with utter impunity, and most of the mainstream media parrots Israel’s Orwellian propaganda, civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa. In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.

We ask you to consider the following actions:

  1. Stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel,
  2. Divest your trade union pension — and other — funds from Israel Bonds as well as from corporations and banks that complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations,
  3. Dissociate from Israeli trade unions which are complicit in the occupation
  4. Support our call for a military embargo on Israel
  5. Share information with your members about the siege and destruction of Gaza and ask your members to boycott Israeli products and to share their knowledge with family, co-workers, and friends.

Today more than ever, solidarity with Palestinians workers and their families in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory is an essential component of progressive, principled trade union politics. Given the complete failure and unwillingness of governments to hold Israel accountable to international law there is widespread recognition that Israel’s occupation must be isolated by the pressure of civil society.

We rely on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to continue a proud tradition of international solidarity and to stand with us as you stood with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Issued by the following Palestinian trade unions:
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Workers
Union of Professional Associations
Federation of Independent Trade Unions

With the support of:
Congress of South African Trade Unions

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/stand-with-palestinian-workers-in-gaza-…

he Palestinian trade union movement, with support from with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the two weeks of the latest Israeli military aggression in the Gaza strip, whole families have been wiped out, and over 600 Palestinians have been killed, almost 80% of them civilians and a third of them children. Over 1.8 million Palestinians are trapped in an occupied and besieged small piece of land that Israel has turned into an open-air prison, subject to daily bombardment by Israeli rockets and heavy artillery. For seven years, Palestinians in Gaza have been under a brutal and illegal siege whose purpose is to destroy the conditions of life and break the spirit of the people. The siege and the recurrent bombing have created a humanitarian catastrophe, with critical shortages of water, food, and medical supplies. Freedom of movement, the right to education and access to health services have been extensively denied by the Israeli occupation.

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/stand-with-palestinian-workers-in-gaza-…

News, Statements

Stand with Palestinian workers in Gaza: a call for trade union solidarity

Posted on July 30, 2014 by The Palestinian trade union movement and the Congress of South African Trade Unions

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The Palestinian trade union movement, with support from with support from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, is unanimously calling on trade unions internationally to take immediate action to stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its crimes against the Palestinian people.

In the two weeks of the latest Israeli military aggression in the Gaza strip, whole families have been wiped out, and over 600 Palestinians have been killed, almost 80% of them civilians and a third of them children. Over 1.8 million Palestinians are trapped in an occupied and besieged small piece of land that Israel has turned into an open-air prison, subject to daily bombardment by Israeli rockets and heavy artillery. For seven years, Palestinians in Gaza have been under a brutal and illegal siege whose purpose is to destroy the conditions of life and break the spirit of the people. The siege and the recurrent bombing have created a humanitarian catastrophe, with critical shortages of water, food, and medical supplies. Freedom of movement, the right to education and access to health services have been extensively denied by the Israeli occupation.

Israel’s goal in this latest aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is to perpetuate the occupation. This year we mark ten years since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the construction of Israel’s wall and its associated regime in the occupied Palestinian West Bank – of settlements, land confiscation, separate roads, permit systems and movement restrictions – is illegal under international law. Yet in ten years the international community has allowed Israel to continue construction on occupied territory and continue its system of occupation, apartheid and colonialism against the Palestinian people.

While governments prevaricate and allow Israel to act with utter impunity, and most of the mainstream media parrots Israel’s Orwellian propaganda, civil society solidarity is the only force that can help stop the ongoing slaughter of our people and send them a message that they are not alone, exactly as effective international solidarity had done in supporting the struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa. In the face of this international inaction, we, the Palestinian trade unions, call on trade unions around the world to take urgent measures, and in particular to intensify Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with international law.

We ask you to consider the following actions:

  1. Stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel,
  2. Divest your trade union pension — and other — funds from Israel Bonds as well as from corporations and banks that complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations,
  3. Dissociate from Israeli trade unions which are complicit in the occupation
  4. Support our call for a military embargo on Israel
  5. Share information with your members about the siege and destruction of Gaza and ask your members to boycott Israeli products and to share their knowledge with family, co-workers, and friends.

Today more than ever, solidarity with Palestinians workers and their families in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory is an essential component of progressive, principled trade union politics. Given the complete failure and unwillingness of governments to hold Israel accountable to international law there is widespread recognition that Israel’s occupation must be isolated by the pressure of civil society.

We rely on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to continue a proud tradition of international solidarity and to stand with us as you stood with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Issued by the following Palestinian trade unions:
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Workers
Union of Professional Associations
Federation of Independent Trade Unions

With the support of:
Congress of South African Trade Unions

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/stand-with-palestinian-workers-in-gaza-… July 2012, more than two years ago, the Egyptian division of Mondelez International (previously Kraft Foods International) suspended five members of the executive committee of a union in Alexandria that dared to declare itself independent. The same American-owned and managed global food company also disciplined union activists at Mondelez plants in Tunisia and Pakistan for similar reasoIn response the IUF (Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers Worldwide) organized a global “Screamdelez” campaign joined by its member unions on every continent. From Pakistan and Tunisia, through North America and Western Europe to Eastern Europe, Mondelez workers and their unions demonstrated to support their Egyptian counterparts. Hundreds of supporters around the world sent protest messages through the LabourStart international website to Irene Rosenthal, Mondelez CEO.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions held a joint meeting of its Political and Socio-economic Commissions (CEC sub-committees) on 5 August 2014. It resolved to intensify its campaign of solidarity with the people of Palestine and against the brutal military rampage against the people of Gaza by the Israel apartheid state which has left around 1900 Palestinians dead.

The meeting agreed to urgently step up its solidarity campaign and to co-ordinate it more effectively with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions SA and many other civil society groups. We shall continue to demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to SA and the recall of the SA ambassador to Israel.

The main thrust of the campaign must now be to organise an economic, trade, investment and cultural boycott that bites. Lists are to be drawn up of all the Israeli companies operating in South Africa, and all Israeli-made products so that we can mobilise a mass movement to boycott them.

In order to hit the Israel economy where it hurts, we are also urging all our affiliates to use their investment and provident funds more effectively to support this campaign and target international companies propping up the regime by supplying Israel with goods and services, particularly those supplying finance, arms and infrastructure that enable it to operate in the Palestine occupied territories. That is the only language the Israeli rulers will understand.

We note and welcome the several countries and organisations all over the world that have taken steps to isolate the apartheid state of Israel and concretely supported the Palestine people’s struggle to end Israel’s colonial expansionism. We particularly applaud the solidarity action taken by Latin American governments.

Our campaign is to end apartheid and occupation now. There will be no peace in the Middle East unless the world acts with decisiveness, not just for piecemeal ceasefires, but to end the occupation and colonialism by the state of Israel.

The Special CEC of COSATU next week will make further announcements on developing this programme of action towards building a more sustainable and effective momentum in support of the Palestinian people’s struggles.

We shall be drawing on the experience of the international anti-apartheid campaign and studying similar campaigns against Israel in other countries to learn lessons on the best way to put pressure on the Israeli apartheid regime to stop its carnage

We urge all members and supporters to attend the mass rally in Cape Town on Saturday 9 August and all other rallies across the country.

Stop the Israeli apartheid state’s war against the people of Gaza!

Forward to a free and independent Palestine!

- See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=9277#sthash.QalP2xLK.dpuf