Vermont workers’ council slams 'Israeli apartheid'
A labour council in the US state of Vermont has become the latest organisation to back a statement by pro-Palestinian workers' union slamming Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians as "apartheid", raising the total number to 15.
Last month, the US-based Labour for Palestine Group issued a statement urging American workers and labour bodies to join mass protests against "apartheid Israel" and support a day of solidarity with Palestinian workers carrying out an unprecedented general strike across Israel.
It called on them to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which they describe as the "worldwide divestment campaign that helped topple apartheid South Africa".
On Tuesday, the Vermont State Labor Council, affiliated with AFL-CIO, one of the largest federation of unions in the US, declared support for the statement on its official Facebook page.
"The VT AFI-CIO endorses Labour Palestine’s US Labor Must Stand with Palestine! solidarity statement," the post read.
It included comments by an executive board member of the council, Helen Scott, who affirmed the group's anti-racism and anti-discrimination stance and calls for solidarity from Palestinian workers' organisations.
"We have heard the call of Palestinian workers' organisations for global solidarity in their struggle for freedom and justice and we applaud the growing number of US unions that have responded with resolutions, statements, and workplace actions, such as the Block the Boat campaign," she said.
Other US union and bodies which have backed the Labour for Palestine alliance include UMN Clerical Workers Union, Black Attorneys of Legal Aid, Attorneys of Colour of Legal Aid, Labour Against Racist Terror and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return.
Pro-Palestinian activists in the Californian port city of Oakland reportedly succeeded in turning away a cargo ship operated by Zim, Israel’s largest shipping firm, early this month.
The 'Block the Boat' campaign running from 2 to 9 June encouraged solidarity with the protest action, which followers similar efforts by dockers in South Africa and Italy.