Greetings from the Burgh, where we are bringing you a special newsletter on labor’s increasing opposition and militancy to Israel’s attack on Gaza.
American Postal Workers Union Opposes Attack on Gaza
Today, the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union, whose president Marc Dimondstein is a self-described anti-zionist Jew, became the largest union in the country to oppose Israel’s attack on Gaza. Along with UE, the Postal Workers Union is the second US international union to call for a ceasefire.
“As a union that stands for equality, social justice, human and labor rights, and international solidarity, we unite with unions and people of goodwill around the world in calls for justice and peace,” said the union in a statement. “We unreservedly condemn the Hamas violence of October 7, which killed over 1,000 Israeli civilians and saw the kidnapping of more than 200 people.”
NewsGuild Stays Silent as Writers Guild Fight Backs
As journalists face pressure not to present views sympathetic to Palestinians, unionized journalists around the US are pushing back against their employers.
Earlier today, Writers Guild members called out Hearst media for trying to enact a strict social media policy that would restrict journalists’ speech at Palestinians.
“Today, @Hearst Magazines released a social media policy that restricts our speech on our private social channels. Do not sign it! The @WGAEast legal team is looking it over and will be in touch about what comes next,” the union posted on X (formerly Twitter) Monday afternoon.
Unlike the Writers Guild, the more politically cautious NewsGuild has not called out censorship for journalists speaking out on Palestine.
Meanwhile, some of its members are pushing for union representation for members fearing censorship over their views on Palestine. New York Times Magazine staff Jazmine Hughes resigned from the publication after facing pressure after she signed a petition condemning Israel’s attack on Gaza as “genocide.”
In a newsroom-wide email to colleagues obtained by the Washington Post’s Jeremy Barr, Hughes urged journalists to use their union rights to protect themselves from censorship.
“Unfortunately my resignation process was under pressure,” wrote Hughes in a letter to colleagues. “I was largely denied Guild representation. As union members, there is a specific process that must be followed before major disciplinary action can occur. That did not occur.”
Hughes encouraged workers to look to the NewsGuild to help push management censorship of views sympathetic to Palestinians.
“Don’t view my resignation as reinforcing management’s messaging that they can formally discipline employees without going through the process outlined in our contract,” wrote Hughes. “The Guild is there for this exact purpose to protect our rights in all interactions with management. Please make sure to communicate your experiences to Guild reps so that they can help enforce this process and keep our rights safe”.
So far, the NewsGuild leadership has failed to say anything about the forced dismissal of Hughes from the New York Times.
Spanish & Australian Dockworker Unions Refuse to Unload Israeli Arms
Last week, the Belgian dockworkers union refused to unload arms intended for Israel.
Now, Spanish dockworkers are refusing to unload arms intended for Israel. Australian dockworkers are also refusing to unload arms bound for Israel.
“(Our branch) believes ‘peace is union business’ and will always fight alongside those in our global community who are facing genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes no matter how many in our society choose to ignore it,” Maritime Union of Australia Sydney branch secretary Paul Keating told the Leader. “We demand an urgent ceasefire and an end to the more than decades-long siege and blockade of Gaza and a political solution for Palestinian justice.”
Canada’s Largest Unions Call for Ceasefire
While the vast majority of US unions have been silent on calls for a ceasefire in Israel, Canada’s largest unions have called for a ceasefire.
Canada’s largest public-sector union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, endorsed calls for a ceasefire last month. Canada’s largest private sector union, UNIFOR, has called for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“We were shocked to see Canada abstain on a vote calling for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce at the UN General Assembly on October 27,” said UNIFOR in a statement. “An abstention on such a significant vote demonstrates to the world Canada’s passive acceptance to the ongoing attacks on civilians. This is totally unacceptable for a country that prides itself on being a human rights leader on the world stage”.
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Love & Solidarity,