During the fall GMM, OPSSU members took a strong stand for peace in Gaza by passing this motion:
WHEREAS for many decades the Israeli state has maintained military control of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, where it continues to grow hundreds of illegal colonial settlements, and of Gaza, where it has additionally imposed, since 2007, a strict land, air and naval blockade leaving Gazans with the highest unemployment in the world and almost entirely dependant on humanitarian aid;
AND WHEREAS last month, on October 7, 2023 Hamas, which governs Gaza, attacked Israeli territory, killing approximately 1200 Israelis and taking over 200 prisoner as hostages;
AND WHEREAS Israel has now escalated to a total blockade of Gaza, cutting off virtually all food, clean water and energy to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza; it has launched a massive new and ongoing military assault killing over 15,000 Palestinians so far and displaced over 1.7 million and, according to WHO, knocked 27 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza
out of operation, and taken thousands more prisoners;
AND WHEREAS Palestinian-Canadians, peace activists, and community allies, are being vilified, marginalised, attacked, and face professional retribution for questioning Israel’s bombardment and expressing solidarity with Palestinians;
AND WHEREAS our pension has a mandate to be socially responsible;
AND WHEREAS the federal government of Canada has ignored these calls and remains among the Israeli state’s strongest backers, refusing even to call for a ceasefire;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- THAT OPSSU supports the call from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions to end the violence and pressure the Canadian government to call for a lasting ceasefire and to help facilitate a just and lasting peace and joins NUPGE, CUPE, Unifor and others, in endorsing www.CeasefireNow.ca.
- AND THAT OPSSU protects their members, through collective bargaining, grievance procedures and political action, from being disciplined or silenced for speaking out in solidarity of peace activists and Palestinian trade unions.
- AND THAT OPSSU conducts member education, in collaboration with solidarity organisations, about the history and ongoing occupation of Palestine and Canada’s complicity.
- AND THAT OPSSU’s Pension Committee analyses OPSSU’s Pension Plan to reaffirm our social justice values and assess if there are any investments in companies complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) guidelines.