- PSC welcomes the re-affirmation of support by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, in a motion passed with a unanimous vote at its Annual Conference today (12/9/23)
- The motion confirms the full opposition of TUC to the Government’s anti-boycott bill and support for the coalition of more than 70 civil society organisations convened by PSC that has publicly opposed the bill
- The motion rejects “any attempt to delegitimise the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions and to suggest that Palestinians should be denied the right to appeal to people of conscience for support”
A motion condemning Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and in support of the right to boycott was passed overwhelmingly by the Trades Union Congress today. Submitted by the National Education Union, with the full support of the General Council, the motion called for opposition to the Government’s Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) bill, better known as the anti-boycott bill.
The motion calls for support for the Right to Boycott coalition of more than 70 civil society organisations convened by PSC, including Unite the Union, UNISON, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Liberty, the Quakers, the Methodist Church, the Muslim Association of Britain and Na’amod: UK Jews Against the Occupation. It confirms TUC’s agreement with the position of the coalition that the bill “would undermine ethical investment and procurement by public bodies by restricting the consideration of human and workers’ rights, international law and environmental concerns, linked to the behaviour of a foreign state. It damages freedom of speech, local democracy, devolution and pension scheme members rights.”
The Labour party leadership has confirmed that it will oppose the Bill at 3rd reading but has publicly agreed with the characterisation of the BDS campaign against Israeli oppression as problematic. In a direct contrast to this position, the TUC motion rejects “any attempt to delegitimise the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions and to suggest that Palestinians should be denied the right to appeal to people of conscience for support.”
Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said
“We welcome the passing of this important motion which confirms the enduring support of the British trade union movement for the Palestinian struggle for liberation, and its opposition to the Government’s attempts to repress the BDS movement. The motion importantly rejects any attempt to delegitimise the Palestinian call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel and companies supporting its oppression and support for that call here in the UK . We urge the Labour Party leadership to pay heed to this overwhelming vote by a body representing millions of British workers, including thousands of Labour Party members.”