At its meeting in Ottawa last week, the executive committee of the Canadian Labour Congress received an update on the CLC’s support of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as adopted by the General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in December. The ITUC is the largest trade union federation in the world. The executive voted unanimously to endorse the ITUC’s call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties and the return of all hostages and people held in Gaza and Israel without legitimate legal basis.
“We are extremely concerned by the continued violence in Gaza, West Bank and Israel” said CLC President Bea Bruske. “The global community has a responsibility to bring this war to an end. That’s why Canada’s unions want to see an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and we’ve been working on that goal, engaging and collaborating with unions from around the world, including labour allies in Palestine and Israel.”
Bruske reported on a number of ITUC and International Labour Organization (ILO) actions supported by the CLC, including:
- Reiterating the call for an immediate, and permanent, cease-fire;
- The release of all hostages and others held without due judicial process, that conforms with international law—along with their safe return home;
- Full respect for international humanitarian law;
- Calling on the government of Canada to fund the ILO’s three-phase response programme in support of Palestinian workers;
- Contributions to Gaza humanitarian emergency funds through aid organizations;
- Meeting with representatives of Histadrut (the General Organization of Workers in Israel), to understand the challenges faced by Israeli trade unionists who support a lasting peace; and
- Meeting with the General Secretary of the Palestinian Workers’ Union to work collaboratively for a ceasefire and support for Palestinian workers.
“We strongly believe that supporting the demands of the workers in the region is how we, as Canada’s unions, are best placed to respond to the crisis and push for a just and lasting peace” said Bruske. “We’ll remain focused on that work.”