Israel bombs Palestinian trade union HQ

John Cox hazel_motes52 at
Thu Feb 21 06:14:08 MST 2002


No. 9/2002

20 February 2002

The following is from the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine
and General Workers' Unions (ICEM):


In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today, the Global Union
Federations express "grave concern about the attack by the Israeli airforce
which we understand took place in the early morning on February 17 on the
headquarters of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions, an
organisation affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions (ICFTU), our partner in the global unions family."

The Global Union Federations are sector-by-sector worldwide trade union
organisations. They include the 20-million-strong International Federation
of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). Today's letter
was sent on their behalf by David Cockroft, General Secretary of the
International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).

The bombed Palestinian union headquarters was "built with the support of the
international labour movement," Cockroft tells Sharon. The building "was
apparently severely damaged in this attack. I am sure that you will agree
that military assaults on legitimate civil institutions like trade unions
have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism. Such attacks risk
instead damaging the functioning of legitimate, democratic civil
institutions and movements, movements that will be essential on both sides
in any future lasting peace for the region."

The Global Union Federations therefore call on the Israeli government to
"publicly investigate the
circumstances behind this air attack on the PGFTU and to make appropriate
compensation to the organisation for what was, we hope, accidental damage to
their headquarters and property."

In a similar protest to Sharon, the ICFTU said it was "appalled" by the


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