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Carpenters’ Union Unanimously Passes Watershed Resolution Calling For an End to Union-Backed Boycotts Against Israel

CARPENTERS’ UNION UNANIMOUSLY PASSES WATERSHED RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN END TO UNION-BACKED BOYCOTTS AGAINST ISRAEL

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center invited to help craft and witness passing of historic resolution

September 8, 2008, Victoria, BC – A union representing more than 60,000 carpenters has voted in favour of a new resolution that will have a profound effect on organized labour around the world. Canada’s Carpenters’ Union unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing the characterization by a limited number of other unions of Israel as an apartheid state. The new resolution calls for greater understanding of the plight of Israeli citizens, who face continual waves of attacks and threats from the vast majority of their neighbours. The resolution was developed with the help of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, which was invited to attend the vote and address union members meeting at the 7th Biennial Canada Council of Carpenters Convention in Victoria, B.C.

“Resolutions such as this one are needed to counter the animosity toward Israel which is inherent in resolutions from other unions such as the Canadian Union of Public Employees and Canadian Union of Postal Workers,” explained Avi Benlolo, president of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Our organization and its more than 25,000 members wholeheartedly support the carpenters’ resolution and believe it will resonate with Canadians and other labour advocates.”

All parties present at the convention, which included government leaders such as Pat Martin, MP from Winnipeg Centre, are hopeful this new perspective will encourage other unions to issue similar resolutions.

“Unlike many neighbouring countries, Israel has an active trade union movement that participates freely in Israeli society,” explained Ucal Powel, President of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario. “Supporting a boycott or sanctions against Israel risks reinforcing terrorist groups and does little to encourage the wellbeing of workers in the region.”

Benlolo, who personally addressed union members in attendance at the convention in Victoria, helped explain the historical significance of the resolution.

“You may not realize just how important and historical this resolution is. Like Canada, Israel is among the family of democratic nations; Israel's very foundations and success are due, in part, to an active trade union movement. The calls for sanctions and divestment by established unions defy logic and only promote the interests of terrorist groups."

THREE WAYS TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

  1. If you are part of a union (or know someone who is), please email, call or write to that union’s leadership and let them know you (or your acquaintances) support(s) resolutions, such as the one issued by the Canadian carpenters, that focus on curbing terrorism and violence.
  2. Send a congratulatory note to the Carpenters’ Union, attention Steven DelDuca [sdelduca@thecarpentersunion.ca], Director of Public Affairs. Please copy FSWC at tsteyn@fswc.ca.
  3. FSWC IS SUPPORTED BY DONATIONS FROM CONCERNED CANADIANS. TO BECOME AN FSWC MEMBER, OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP, EMAIL tsteyn@fswc.ca OR CALL 416-864-9735 OR TOLL-FREE 1-866-864-9735 EXT, 21. CONTACT US TODAY TO MAKE YOUR MARK THROUGH A MAJOR GIFT.