TOMORRROW’S, (Wednesday 7th February), ‘Stand With Gaza – Workplace Day of Action’ is being supported by a wide range of trade unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers.
The Day of Action, which calls for workers and students across the country to walk out of their workplaces and colleges early morning and at lunchtime, will be met with massive support amongst workers and youth who stand united with the Palestinians against Israeli genocide.
Tonight, trade unions have organised a Stand With Gaza London Trade Union Rally reflecting this massive support. This Rally, at 6.30pm at Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1 9BD, has speakers including Jim Kelly (Chair of Unite London and Eastern Region), Alex Gordon (RMT President), Barnaby Raine (NEU President), Sean Vernell (UCU Executive Committee) and Dr Omar Abdel-Mannan from Health Workers for Palestine.
The call for a day of action and the support it has received from trade unions stands in stark contrast with the silence of the TUC and the complete support being given to the Israeli regime by the Labour Party leadership.
In January, the Guardian newspaper reported that several leaders of the biggest unions told Labour leader Keir Starmer at one of their regular meetings with him that his position on Gaza ‘risks alienating millions of Britons’ and that their members were increasingly angry at his refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East.
These unnamed union leaders cited Starmer’s position that Israel had a right to withhold water and power from Gaza – a position he has since tried to row back from. What Starmer can’t disguise however, is the complete refusal of the Labour leadership to make any comment on the findings of the International Court of Justice (IJC) that there is overwhelming evidence that Israel is waging a genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza.
Equally, Starmer has thrown his complete support behind the Tory government’s decision to end all funding for the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), the organisation that over two million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip depend on for the increasingly tiny amounts of aid that the Zionists permit to drip into the Strip.
Warnings about alienating workers has no effect on Starmer. His only concern is to prove to the ruling class that Labour is right behind the war to drive Palestinians from their land through terror and attempt to ensure imperialist domination of the Middle East, whatever the cost to Palestinian lives.
Meanwhile, the TUC has maintained a complete silence on Gaza and has been absent from all the mass demonstrations supporting Palestinians and demanding a ceasefire.
The last TUC Congress in September unanimously passed a motion condemning Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people. Since that vote this oppression has developed into a genocidal war of annihilation in Gaza that has killed over 27,000 people so far – yet still the TUC remains absolutely silent.
The TUC has refused point blank to issue any words of condemnation let alone organise any campaign in support of its own policy of support to Palestine. While individual trade unions are reflecting the pressure of their members, the TUC is washing its hands of Palestine believing that genocide can be swept under the carpet and has nothing to do with the working class in Britain.
The working class however overwhelmingly identifies with the Palestinian people.
They recognise that the same Tory government that is waging war on the right to strike and demanding that workers pay for the crisis of British capitalism is at the same time giving all financial, military and political support to the Zionist regime.
The Workplace Day of Action called for tomorrow must become a day when the trade unions demand that the TUC end its shameful inactivity by immediately calling a general strike to bring down this Tory government and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.
A workers’ government will break with imperialism and give all the material support for the Palestinians to establish an independent state of Palestine.
Join the WRP and Young Socialists to build up the leadership required to put an end to imperialist slaughter with socialist revolution.