[Boycott - Economic - Europe]
NUJ to “take no further action” on AGM boycott call
9 July 2007
The NEC has called for members to unite behind the union’s key workplace priorities as they unanimously backed a motion drawing a line under the row over the Israeli boycott call.
The motion, tabled by General Secretary Jeremy Dear and seconded by President Michelle Stanistreet
- recognised the concerns expressed by some members, chapels and branches about the proposed boycott
- recognised that by informing the TUC of the conference vote that the union had met the terms of the resolution
- resolved “to take no further action” over the boycott call
- strongly reaffirmed the sovereign role of the union’s annual conference in setting NUJ policy.
The motion also rejected firmly any allegations that the union was anti-semitic or racist and reaffirmed the union’s commitment to fighting racism in all its forms.
NEC members also made clear the union’s continued commitment to working with the International Federation of Journalists affiliates in Palestine and Israel to tackle the problems faced by journalists including arbitrary arrests, attacks on media centres, the confiscation of film and recording equipment, the denial of press accreditation and the threat to safety created by gunmen posing as journalists.
The motion reads as follows:
NEC notes the protests by some members and branches following the vote by ADM on Composite B.
NEC believes that as a pluralist democratic body, the NUJ is open to different points of view. Individual members and branches/chapels have a legitimate right to express their individual or collective viewpoints and record their protest over any action taken by the union or its leadership bodies.
NEC has listened carefully to and taken on board the wide range of viewpoints and concerns expressed about Composite B.
NEC reaffirms the sovereign role of ADM and believes that decisions taken democratically by ADM are legitimate and binding on the union. Members who disagree with any such decision have the responsibility to seek to reverse or change them at future ADMs or to secure the requisite support to call a Special Delegate Meeting.
Composite B calls not for an NUJ boycott but on the NUJ to support a labour movement/TUC organised boycott. In implementing Composite B the NUJ has sent the motion to the TUC. NEC notes the response from the TUC International Department setting out the TUC and the majority of affiliates’ position on the boycott, in particular, that the “General Council is likely to take the position that this is not a priority for the PGFTU, still less the Histadrut, and would undermine our ability to act as go-betweens”, and that “Congress, which has consistently supported the same approach, would also be to oppose the call”.
NEC believes the letter from the TUC gives a decisive and final response to any call made by the NUJ to the labour movement as instructed by ADM. NEC will take no further action to implement the boycott call.
NEC rejects absolutely allegations of anti-semitism and/or racism and reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism in all its forms.
NEC recalls that nine previous motions on Israel/Palestine since 1987 have focused on issues concerning journalists, their social and working conditions and their welfare.
NEC reaffirms our responsibility towards our sister unions in the Middle east and our sister union in Palestine and resolves to give priority to our participation in the work of the IFJ to strengthen the PJS to help them deal with the day-to-day problems of journalists and their families, in particular their safety.
NEC also reaffirms to continue our past efforts to engage our sister union in Israel, the National Federation of Israeli Journalists and instructs the General Secretary to continue to seek to cooperate with them on issues of common interest.
ADM Resolutions on Boycott
Composite B – covers motion 37, 38 and amendments
ADM condemns the savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel. ADM notes that the vast majority of those killed in 2006 have been Lebanese together with Palestinians in the Israeli occupied territories.
This ADM condemns the slaughter of civilians by Israeli troops in Gaza and the IDF’s continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah.
This ADM calls for the end of Israeli aggression in Gaza and other occupied territories.
This ADM calls for a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions and the TUC to demand sanctions be imposed on Israel by the British government and the United Nations.
This ADM instructs the NEC to support organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding and continue supporting the programme of safety training and union building set out by the IFJ with its affiliate, the Syndicate of Palestinian Journalists.
ADM encourages branches to find ways to support their Palestinian colleagues, noting as an example the ‘Reporting under Occupation’ meeting organised by the Oxford branch, which gave a platform to Al Hayat’s West Bank correspondent to explain the dangers, restrictions and limitations faced by Palestinian – and to a lesser extent non-Palestinian – journalists operating in the West Bank and Gaza.
Also Of Interest
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