UNIFOR, Canada’s largest private-sector union with over 310,000 members, passed a motion in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) at its August 18-20 convention.

Resolution number 5, entitled, “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” was put forth by the Oshawa-based Local 222 and was easily adopted at the Unifor Canadian Council.

The full text of the resolution reads:

Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

WHEREAS article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to territory it occupies; and

WHEREAS the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) violate international law; and

WHEREAS Israeli settlement expansions in the OPT are an undeniable obstacle to the Israel – Palestine peace-process; and

WHEREAS Israel has continued, despite international pressure, to expand its settlements and to demolish Palestinian homes and other infrastructure in the OPT; and

WHEREAS Canada and other nations have previously succeeded in ensuring respect for human rights through the use of economic and political sanctions, including in the case of South Africa; and

WHEREAS the Liberal and Conservative parties recently supported a motion ‘condemning’ attempts by Canadians to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement; and

WHEREAS nothing in this resolution condones the use of force against innocent civilians or other human rights violations by either side in the conflict;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state ; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.