Click for a PDF version of the statement on events in Israel and Palestine.

October 23, 2023

CUPE 3902 has a long history supporting the peaceful resolution to the state of Israel’s occupation of Palestine through boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the state of Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.

In April 2015, the membership of CUPE Local 3902 voted overwhelmingly in favour of endorsing the global call led by Palestinian civil society organizations to sign on to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign against the state of Israel. The Local joined the proud internationalist tradition of the Canadian labour movement who, decades before, heeded the call of the African National Congress to throw support behind the BDS campaign that contributed to the downfall of the South African apartheid regime.

Since that day, the Local has sought to raise awareness amongst its members and the University of Toronto community more broadly, to the state of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and persistent violations of international law. This includes ensuring academic freedom encompassing the right to pursue research and open inquiry in an honest search for knowledge that is free from institutional censorship and retaliation.

The terrible events, and loss of civilian life that have taken place over the last two weeks in Israel and Palestine, have neither changed that mandate nor the Local’s solidarity with the Palestinian people. Our capacity as North American trade unionists does not absolve us from using the tools that we have at our disposal to pressure the apartheid state and its sponsors—without the economic and military aid from such parties, the regime and its illegal occupation would become unsustainable. In other words, the recent events emphasize the moral necessity of affirming our historic commitment to the BDS campaign with the aim of contributing to the end of Israel’s apartheid regime.

We condemn the genocidal violence taking place in Palestine and call for the state of Israel to abide by international law and the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions (UNSC, R1860, 2009; UNSC, R2334, 2016; A/RES/77/208, 2022). We demand an immediate ceasefire, the resumption of humanitarian aid, and an end to the blockade and occupation.

In solidarity,

The Executive Committee of CUPE Local 3902