04 February 2009

Trade unions and social justice

Having attended a couple of rallies recently over the invasion of Gaza by Israeli troops I started to think about the lack of involvement of the wider trade union movement around the world in this issue.

During the apartheid era in South Africa unionists around the world made their voices heard on the issue. The 1971 Springbok tour of Australia led to many unions protesting the continued racism and brutality of the South African government. Yet at the protests in Brisbane unions had a small presence with the usual suspects from the various socialist incarnates having a much stronger presence.

I think the reason is that people are scared to discuss the issue of Palestinian sovereignty openly in Australia for fear of offending others. But this is no excuse. Unions have a responsibility to educate their members of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israelis are still illegally stealing land in West Bank for the "settlements". They cut off everything to the people of Gaza and killed hundreds of children in the most recent conflict.

I will be pushing this issue amongst my comrades. I hope you will too.

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