British trade unions, including the often conservative Trade Union Congress (TUC) have ratified motions to voice their solidarity with the Palestinians more and more explicitly.
The motions adopted by union leaders as the representatives of the broader UK society call for giving an all-out support to the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which is campaigning for boycotting of Israeli-made products and services.
The TUC congress in September 2009 adopted a motion, based on which the trade union was instructed to “develop an effective Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign by working closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) to … encourage trade unionists to boycott Israeli goods, especially agricultural products that have been produced in the illegal settlements.”
According to trade union official and Palestine solidarity activist Hugh Lanning, the BDS movement is increasingly gaining momentum among union members.
“Big players who've not had positions before, say like Unite, the largest union - but also little ones - are discussing the issue for the first time,” he said.
Lanning is deputy general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), and also chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
The TUC annual meeting in September 2011 passed a motion reaffirming previous boycott policy, with an amendment calling for unions to “review their bilateral relations with all Israeli organizations, including Histradrut,” the Israeli trade union federation.
Histradrut had supported the deadly Israeli raid on the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara, which attempted to break the Israeli imposed siege on the Gaza Strip in 2008. Zionist army troops killed 9 Turkish activists in the attack.