Bay Area Labor Union to Weigh Endorsing BDS, Blocking of Israeli Ships at Port
Weeks after a group of Bay Area longshoremen helped prevent an Israeli ship from unloading in Oakland, a 100,000-strong San Francisco Labor Council plans to vote on becoming the latest union to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Labor Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate, will vote on a resolution to back BDS against “apartheid in Israel” and to “stand in solidarity with dockworkers in Italy, South Africa, the US West Coast, and elsewhere, who have refused to handle military equipment and weapons and other cargo destined for Israel.”
The motion was proposed on June 14 by 19 members of its delegate assembly, and may come up for a vote as soon as August 9, reported the local Jewish news outlet J.
In addition to the call for a boycott of Israel, it praised the Block the Boat campaign, a protest effort organized by the Bay Area-based Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) that aims to prevent Israeli ships from docking and unloading in cargo ports.
On June 4, dockworkers representing the Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 (ILWU) — several members of which signed the San Francisco Labor Council BDS resolution — helped AROC protesters turn away a ship owned by Israel’s ZIM International Shipping from unloading at the Port of Oakland.
Claiming “thousands” of supporters, AROC said the workers had “honored the 6 simultaneous community pickets during both the morning and evening shifts, and did not work the ship.”
Two weeks later, the same ZIM ship was able to successfully dock at a port in British Columbia, Canada, after a temporary delay due to Block the Boat protests.