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December 17, 2015 7:32 am

United Auto Workers International Overturns Local Union’s BDS Vote

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A United Auto Workers strike. Its international body opposed local support for BDS. Photo: Wikipedia.

A United Auto Workers strike. The group’s international body opposed local support for BDS. Photo: Wikipedia.

Last year, BDS supporters went crazy when a local student workers union at the University of California voted to support BDS:

Student workers at the University of California have voted by a landslide to support the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The votes, which were cast on 4 December by members of UAW Local 2865, resulted in 65 percent, or 1,411 members voting in support of a BDS resolution against 35 percent, or 749 members, voting against.

UAW Local 2865 has thus become the first labor union in the US to join the BDS movement.

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The union represents 13,000 student workers in the University of California system. It joins a growing number of student governments, academic associations and activist organizations in the US which have pledged to hold Israel accountable for violations of human rights and to end the complicity by corporations and universities which profit from such violations.

The ballots asked union members to cast their vote to call on the University of California and UAW International to divest their holdings from Israeli state institutions and international companies “complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.”

The grown-ups at UAW International apparently didn’t think much of a bunch of student workers telling them what to do. In fact, while that resolution was being debated, UAW International told UAW Local 2865 explicitly that their position was firm opposition to BDS. 

So it is no surprise that on Wednesday, UAW International overturned the student worker union’s attempt to boycott Israel.

In a landmark decision yesterday, United Auto Workers (UAW) International Union granted an appeal filed by a member of the University of California student group Informed Grads, thereby striking down a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution adopted by UAW Local 2865 last year. UAW 2865 represents graduate student workers at all of the University of California campuses. UAW International, the body that oversees all UAW locals in the United States, set national precedent by denying the local organization the right to adopt such a divisive and alienating measure.

Over the past year, certain members of UAW 2865 championed a one-sided, counterproductive BDS referendum that limits academic freedom and promotes discrimination based on national origin. Rather than focusing on the needs of the student workers they were elected to represent, these activists promoted an effort that seeks to undermine peaceful dialogue and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

A victory for sanity.

Israel’s enemies are fixated on symbolic victories, like voting for a resolution that is meaningless or refusing to be in the same building as an Israeli flag. Meanwhile, Israel quietly works on real things like scientific and medical breakthroughs.

So let’s recognize the symbolic state of Palestine, which takes up no land and has only symbolic citizens. It can have a symbolic Olympic team and symbolic currency and symbolic passports.

The plan would work, too, if this symbolic people weren’t so supportive of killing real Jews.

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  • Good to have some light shining! Praise the Lord!

  • Ike Semaya

    For those who want to join the BDS movement, I suggest that they start by STOP USING THEIR CELL PHONES, an Israeli invention. STOP USING TODAY’S MIRACLE ANTIBIOTICS,
    another Israeli invention. In other words, YOU CAN DROP DEAD. So boycott the products developed in Israel.

    • Holy Shirt

      Israeli inventions? Are you kidding? If you believe that, you might believe Jesus of Nazareth was an Israeli

      • Alan Mazursky

        Yes, brown shirt, it is true. They are Israeli inventions. It would do you some good to learn what has actually been produced by Israeli research and companies. I know that it will just put you into a higher level denial mode, but those are the breaks. You can’t rewrite this history. Oh, also, stay off the internet, stop using computers, because some of the fundamental operating systems and technologies also came out of Israeli research labs. Hurts, doesn’t it? Troll.

  • steven L

    What a difference it makes when you have healthy functioning brain cells!!!
    UAW: when you are right U are right.