World’s Unions Condemn
On Feb. 17, Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft and Apache helicopters launched an attack on civilian targets in the Palestinian
city of Nablus that included the headquarters of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). The building was severely
damaged in the bombing; miraculously, no trade unionists were killed in this assault.
Unions around the world have expressed their outrage at the bombing of trade union offices in a military attack.
The International Confederation of Trade Unions wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon condemning the attack.
Its letter states that such attacks do not "reduce tensions in the occupied territories nor lead to any improvements in Israeli
internal security." The letter calls on the Israeli government to investigate the attack and compensate the PGFTU.
The Palestinian Federation is an affiliate of the ICFTU. In a recent interview, PGFTU Genl. Sec. Sharer Saeld
reiterated his organization’s search "for a comprehensive and durable peace."
'COMMITTED TO FINDING PEACE'
"I received the news of this devastating attack with utter disbelief," says ICFTU Genl. Sec. Guy Ryder.
"The PGFTU is committed to finding peace. The ability of the trade unions to undertake their legitimate work freely is a crucial
component of peace-building."
The Global Union Federations, sector-by-sector worldwide trade union organizations, also condemned the Israeli bombing.
The Global Union Federations include the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers (ICEM), to which UE is
The Confederation of South African Trade Unions was also among those condemning the bombing. The San Francisco Labor
Council, in issuing its condemnation, pointed out that the use of U.S.-military supplied equipment on civilian targets was illegal under
UE News - 3/02