Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gaza genocide: Port workers’ union in India refuses to load, unload Israel-linked military goods

The Water Transport Workers Federation of India representing workers at 11 major Indian ports will refuse to load or unload weapons to Israel.

In a press statement released on February 14, the organisation declared that its members accounting to more than 3500 port workers will refuse to load or unload weaponised cargoes which may contain military assistance to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

The statement acknowledged that the relentless war of Israel on Gaza has killed and displaced thousands of Palestinians including a vast majority of women and children.

“At this juncture our union members have collectively decided to refuse handling all types of weaponised cargoes.

Loading and unloading these weapons provide organisations with the ability to kill innocent people.

Therefore, We the Indian port and dock workers from various major ports, call on our members to no longer handle any ships which carry military material to Israel,” the statement read.

According to T. Narendra Rao, the general secretary of the Water Transport Workers Federation of India (WTWFI), the decision to boycott the handling of Israel linked military goods was taken in accordance with the resolution passed by the international parent organisation World Federation of Trade Unions.

The resolution was passed by Trade Union International Transport -TUI (T)- an integral part of (WFTU), at its 15th World Congress held during November 21-22, 2023 at Athens, Greece.

The Congress strongly condemned Israel’s war on Gaza, and expressed its solidarity with Palestinians.

Delegates called for an immediate Ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestine People.

Suzan Zaidan, a Palestinian representative, also attended the conference.

“Since then, we were thinking of implementing any substantial measure to express our anger against Israel committing a genocide in Gaza with sheer impunity,” Rao told Maktoob.

“With this call for boycotting the handling of military goods linked to Israel, we make it clear that we are with the Palestinians and their cause of free Palestine,” he added.

He also condemned how the UN conventions and resolutions are rendered docile as Israel continues its war crimes with the backing of US veto power.

“Israel’s claim to self defence against Hamas is nothing but a lame excuse to massacre children and women,” he argued.

The statement called for an immediate ceasefire and asked all peace loving trade unions to declare their solidarity with Palestinians and their demand for a free Palestine.

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