Unions 'not a lost cause over Israel'

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 17, 2011

Executive members of four British trade unions visited Israel and the West Bank as part of a delegation organised by Trade Unions Friends of Israel.

Senior members of the major union GMB, the bakery industry union BFAWU, the fourth largest UK union USDAW and the vice-president of the Community Union completed a six-day trip meeting Israeli and Palestinian union members, Israeli government officials and visiting factories on either side of the green line which employ both Palestinians and Israelis.

The delegation, which joined six officials of Australian unions, met senior representatives of Israeli union the Histadrut, Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions in Ramallah and journeyed to Sderot which saw rocket attacks from Gaza during the trip.

Doreen Gerson, TUFI executive vice-chair said putting Israel's case to British trade unions was not a lost cause.

"There is a lot of goodwill between Israeli and British trade unions who are supportive of the work that Histradrut is doing with Palestinians. This trip shows that there are supportive unions out there."

Last updated: 2:35pm, November 17 2011