In an unprecedented vote, the Trades Union Congress, which represents the majority of UK unions, has voted for Britain to pull out of Afghanistan and Libya. The motion from the Unite union was proposed by Andrew Murray, president of Stop the War Coalition. This is the first time the TUC has publicly opposed the disastrous war in Afghanistan and is one more proof of the depth of anti-war sentiment in Britain.
TUC Congress 2011
17 September 2011
The motion passed by the TUC on 14 September 2011
Andrew Murray from the Unite union proposing the anti-war motion at the 2011 TUC conference
Congress notes that the “war on terror” is still continuing and has failed, after ten years, to bring the promised peace and stability to either the Middle East or the wider world.
Congress believes it is time Britain disengaged from this conflict and in particular urges the rapid withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan. The occupation there has brought devastation to the country, cost the lives of thousands of civilians and hundreds of British soldiers and destabilised nuclear-armed Pakistan. The future of Afghanistan can only be determined through talks between the parties in the country itself.
Congress believes the attack against Libya has been misjudged and, while holding no brief for the Gadaffi regime, believes military action should be halted immediately and that international efforts should be focused on securing a peaceful political settlement to the conflict.
Since there can be no peace in the region without justice for the Palestinians, Congress endorses the call for the recognition of the State of Palestine and urges the British government to take all actions appropriate to help achieve this objective. Congress calls for immediate, unconditional negotiations between the Israeli government and the representatives of the Palestinian people to secure peace.
Congress deplores the anti-democratic law passed by the Knesset banning individuals and organisations in Israel from calling for the boycott of Israel.
Congress reaffirms policy adopted in 2010, particularly the instruction to the General Council “to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall.
Congress calls on all unions on the basis of this policy to review their bi-lateral relations with all Israeli organisations, including Histradrut.
Moved by Andrew Murray on behalf of the Unite union