StandWithUs thanks the United Auto Workers (UAW) International Union for striking down a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel on December 16, 2015, which had been adopted in 2014 by the University of California Student Workers Union (UAW Local 2865).
This landmark decision came in response to an appeal filed by a member of Informed Grads, a University of California graduate student group that opposes BDS. In their press release, Informed Grads stated that, “UAW International, the body that oversees all UAW locals in the United States, set national precedent by denying the local organization the right to adopt such a divisive and alienating measure.”
In its official decision released on December 15, 2015, the UAW International Executive Board stated its “unanimous belief” that BDS “espouses discrimination and vilification against Israelis and UAW members who are of Jewish lineage.” They found that, “the provisions of the BDS Resolution, despite semantical claims to the contrary by the local union, can easily be construed as academic and cultural discrimination against union members on the basis of their national origin and religion.”
Furthermore, the Executive Board determined that the UAW Local 2865 BDS resolution, “is a clear and convincing breach” of the union’s constitution, and “would harm UAW-represented workers and other union members” by boycotting companies that employ these individuals, leading to “direct economic deprivation”.
According to Informed Grads member Karra Greenberg, “All workers represented by UAW International can now rest assured that their union will not support BDS tactics or endorse an extreme political agenda that is discriminatory, alienating, and stifles academic freedom”.
“BDS seeks the elimination of Israel and the violation of Jewish rights to self-determination, and ultimately harms Israelis and Palestinians alike. UAW International should be applauded for taking a principled stand against anti-Israel bigotry, and refusing to be co-opted into a fundamentally unjust cause,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
StandWithUs congratulates Informed Grads for this groundbreaking victory in the fight against racism, extremism, and censorship on campus. We hope their resilience, tenacity, and successful struggle for the rights of graduate students and workers will inspire similar activist efforts across the country.