Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Real of World of Trade Unionism

Recently, the mighty Transport and General Workers' Union in the UK, in order to perpetuate the political agenda of the minority activists in the union voted to boycott Israel. Meanwhile, in the real world, Palestinian and Israeli transport union representatives met to further co-operation.

Israeli and Palestinian transport unions have forged a groundbreaking cooperation agreement at a special meeting held under the auspices of the ITF.

Around 20 Israeli and Palestinian transport union representatives met together in Limassol, Cyprus on 31 July – 1 August as guests of the ITF’s Cypriot affiliate the Federation of Transport, Petroleum and Agricultural Workers. There they discussed common issues such as collective bargaining, delayed payment of wages, loss of union membership and the increasing outsourcing of work to contractors.

They agreed to establish a joint liaison committee to provide a mechanism for dealing with practical problems faced by transport workers in the region and for building trust between Israeli and Palestinian transport unions.

I wonder if these “practical problems” involve the issue of the boycott. It will be interesting to see further developments.

The full report of the special meeting and a video of the signing ceremony can be seen at

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