Conference policy on international issues

International issues passed at PCS annual delegate conferences:

Human rights

A58: 2016
Refugees Welcome Here - supporting delegations and refugee campaigns, and working with Europe wide TU initiatives.

A59: 2016
Mobilise in defence of refugees and against austerity - expose lie that refugees contribute to the austerity agenda, and call for icreased staff in the Border Agency and Home Office.

A445: 2015
Migrants' deaths in the Mediterranean - work with the TUC and other unions to urgently build a campaign to call on governments to put in place extended search and rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean Sea; the British government to welcome all migrants seeking asylum in the UK; and continue to work alongside the Movement against Xenophobia in campaigning against anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric.

A343: 2015
Release Shaker Aamer Campaign - Support and work with Amnesty International UK and other organisations to publicise the campaign and the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

A68; 2010
Palestine and Israel - campaign to retain the existing right under UK criminal law to charge foreign nationals suspected of war crimes when visiting the UK.
 
A327; 2009
Rendition - support and wherever practically possible campaign against the odious practice of “rendition”.
 

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International solidarity against austerity

A33: 2015
To affiliate to the Greece Solidarity Campaign

A97: 2012
A98: 2012

Europe, Austerity and developing links - organise all practical support measures to European workers fighting against austerity measures; and seek to develop links with other European Civil Service trade unions and sympathetic MEPs in the Socialist Group of the European Parliament.

Welcomes the shows of solidarity in the UK and across Europe, and welcomes EPSU's new Co-ordinating Group which aims to better co-ordinate future action across Europe in furtherance of countries anti-austerity campaigns.  To cultivate contacts across the EU to further the union's campaigns; and encourage representatives and members to become active in our European political activities.

A622; 2010
In support of public sector workers in Greece

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Labour rights, decent work and child labour

A520: 2013
Bangladesh Garment Workers - support the War on Want campaign demanding justice for victims of the Bangladesh building collapse; encouragemembers to sign the Bangladesh National Garment Workers' Federation petition demanding full compensation for the families who have lost relatives, and for Primark, Matalan, Mango and Bonmarche to sign the 'Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement' to prevent the future deaths of garment workers; and send a message of support to the trade unions representing the workers in the Bangladesh garment trade, fighting to improve safety and conditions in the industry.

A83: 2013
Express solidarity for the FIAT FIOM-CGIL trade unionists - campaigning for the defence of all factory plants of the FIAT group and the equal distribution of work between all the factories; and the reinstatement of the rights of FIOM-CGIL to organise inside the Italian plants of the FIAT group and to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes.  Send a message of support.

A95: 2012
Sweatshops/Playfair - campaign with other Organisations to bring an end to the profiteering from the sweatshop labour of the poor and vulnerable across the globe, and to campaign with other Unions and global groups to establish a specialised Commission in order to hold British companies to account for exploitation in their supply chains.

A96: 2012
Abolition of Child Labour - actively campaign and raise awareness throughout PCS and wider trade union movement; and end messages of support to appropriate organisations and charities in this field.

A198: 2008
Child Labour - continue to actively publicise the scandal of child labour; lobby ministers to take economic action against countries who do not comply with the International Labour Organisation and other relevant standards; and campaign with the TUC and global organisations to strengthen international legal protection to ensure children are not exploited.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

A84: 2013
Gaza / Israeli apartheid - NEC instructed to:

To lobby the British government to stop supporting the aggression of the Israeli state against the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern countries.

To lobby the British government to stop facilitating the export of military equipment to the Israeli regime.

To promote the Palestinian call for international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS movement) of Israel as issued in 2005 by Palestine Boycott National Committee (BNC), via PCS publications and through PCS branches.

Furthermore this conference agrees that the NEC should ask the TUC to implement the following measures:

  1. Constantly lobby Parliament, MEPs and the government for direct economic sanctions against the current Israeli government.
  2. Encourage Trade Unions abroad to lobby their governments on the same basis as well.
  3. To pressurise Israel into withdrawing the Israeli troops and implementing self - rule in the whole of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem with joint sovereignty over the Grove.
  4. To call for a return of all the illegal settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  5. To demand the demolition of the entire security wall between Israel and Palestine that is, already, encroaching on Palestinian territory.
  6. To call for compensation or the return of the millions of Palestinians in diaspora since 1948.
  7. To call for a ban on any discrimination against the Arab population in Israel.
  8. To demand full recognition of workers' and Trade Union rights for the Palestinian people, as they are enduring economic hardships on the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

A104: 2012
MENA Workers Network - support for founding statement:

“We celebrate the heroic struggles of workers in Middle East & North Africa who have played a vital role in bringing down tyrants across the region. We support their continuing battles for genuine democracy and social justice. We agree to help their campaigns for the right to strike and other basic social and democratic rights, for unions free from state control, and for well-paid and secure jobs. We support the creation of a broadly-based Solidarity with Middle Eastern and North African Workers Network.”

Affiliate to Solidarity with MENA Workers Network at the national rate of £200 p.a., publicise its activities and publications, and send messagesof solidarity and greetings to the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions

A135: 2011
Tunisian Workers - support the uprising of the Tunisian workers, poor and students and support any attempts to set up independent unions; send a message of support to the Tunisian UGTT congratulating its members role in helping depose the President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali; and support public protests and rallies in support of the Tunisian revolt.

A136: 2011
Independent trade unions in Egypt - applauds the mass uprisings in support of democracy across North Africa and the Middle East and recognises the need for ongoing solidarity with them.  NEC instructed to continue to work with PSC and other organisations to build links with new independent trade unions emerging in Egypt, and to also support the TUC PSC boycott campaign of firms complicit in making profits from the occupation, the wall and illegal settlements – including BT.

A544: 2012
Lybia - oppose the military intervention in Libya and publicly state that PCS nationally is opposed to such intervention on the basis that it has and will lead to further civilian casualties, place Western interests before those of the Libyan people and favours the most reactionary elements over the most progressive and democratic.

Continue to support the Stop the War Coalition and other bodies in campaigning against the bombings and attacks on civilians in Libya and elsewhere; and liaise with groups within Libya and across the Middle East, particularly trade unions, with the aim of giving the maximum level of support for their struggle for democratic, social and economic rights.

A39: 2009
Palestine - NEC instructed to:

  • Reaffirm existing union policy in support of the Palestinian people’s right to self determination with two independent states – Israel and Palestine, an end to the illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, for the right of return of Palestinian refugees and for the immediate dismantling of the Apartheid Wall.
  • Demand an end to Israel’s military attacks and to lift its siege of Gaza.
  • Demand that the British government unequivocally condemns the Israeli military aggression and ends arms sales to Israel noting the sale of more than £18.8 million worth of British arms to Israel in 2008, up from £7.5 million in 2007.
  • Call for the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Agreement providing preferential trade facilities to Israel.
  • Call on the TUC to condemn the Histadrut statement and to raise this matter in the appropriate national and international forums of the trade union movement to put pressure on them to withdraw this statement.
  • Encourage our members to boycott goods, and especially agricultural produce, produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.
  • Campaign for the British trade union movement to support calls for a consumer boycott of Israeli goods from Palestinian trade union and civil organisations.
  • Encourage branches to affiliate to and support activities of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other relevant organisations to which PCS is affiliated that have local and regional groups.

A197: 2008
Siege of Gaza / PalestineConference endorses the following activities agreed by the International Committee:

  • Awareness raising – To organise a series of awareness raising meetings at branch, regional and group level.
  • Capacity building – PCS should seek to build a link with G.U.G.E. (General Union of Government Employees) who represent Government employees with the Palestine National Authority, with a view towards twinning and inviting representatives over both to identify ways of working together and participate in the union’s campaigning work.
  • To work with Sawt el Amel as the voice of Palestinian workers in Israel with particular reference to their campaign over Welfare to Work – in which we should seek to involve the DWP Group.
  • To encourage PCS branches to get involved with PSC activities locally and to send representatives to the PSC AGM.

NEC instructed to: continue to support the PSC organised protests over Gaza and the occupation of Palestine; write to the Israeli Embassy demanding that the Israeli Government immediately reverses its decision to block and control supplies of fuel, food, water and medicines to Gaza; and write to DFID about their involvement – through consultants – on the PNA (Palestine National Authority) Development Plan (which proposes a cut of 50,000 public sector jobs), and the failure to involve Palestinian trade unions in these discussions.

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South and Western Asia

A67: 2010
Afghanistan - the immediate withdrawal of UK soldiers from Afghanistan.

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South America

A71: 2010
Affiliate to the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. 

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