Resolution for Permanent Ceasefire, Humanitarian Aid, and Peace

June 7, 2024
Posted in Uncategorized

SEIU Convention 2024 Resolution #108

In this union, SEIU members are united in our steadfast belief that wherever violence, fear and hatred thrive, working people cannot. We believe in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide all over the globe. Through our collective voice, we achieve justice, dignity, and respect in every workplace. It is our responsibility to foster inclusive and just conditions for our members and all of those we serve, and we extend that standard across the globe and across humankind. 

In this union, we raise our voices against violence, war, and injustice across not just North America but the whole world. We are deeply concerned about violent conflicts everywhere, including those in the global South that are too often ignored and which have originated in or been exacerbated by colonialism, imperialism and other intervention by Western powers and big corporations. 

In this union, SEIU members condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all racism, religious persecution, and hate around the world. As a union family strongly committed to justice and democracy, we believe all people across the globe have the right to live safely and free of fear, with dignity and respect for their human rights, as well as access to food, water, shelter, medicine and other necessities. We condemn the misuse of religion as a justification for violence and war. We condemn sexual violence in all its forms, especially as a weapon of war. 

SEIU’s Vision for a Just Society calls us to challenge corporate power and structural racism beyond the borders of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, especially because international conflicts most often enhance the profits of huge corporations, while working class people and communities of color pay the steepest price. We understand that massive expenditures on war and on the military-industrial complex often come at the expense of investment in serving the needs of people and communities here and abroad. 

We condemn the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7, 2023 that killed over 1,200 Israelis and others, abducted 240 people, and included other unconscionable acts. We stand in solidarity with the families affected by these attacks and with those still being held in captivity. 

We condemn the Israeli military’s war against Palestinians in Gaza that has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history. Israel’s military has carried out widespread attacks on innocent civilians, including the bombardment of neighborhoods, healthcare facilities, refugee camps, and humanitarian relief workers and has destroyed Gazan civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, libraries, places of worship, and agriculture. This collective punishment of the Palestinian people has led to the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians and the displacement of more than 1.7 million people in Gaza. In addition, violent attacks and killings of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank have increased dramatically. 

In January, SEIU members joined in the call for a ceasefire, the release of all hostages and the delivery of life-saving food, water, medicine and other resources to the people of Gaza. We have called on elected leaders to work together to bring an end to the violence and demand a peaceful resolution that ensures both lasting security for the Israeli people and a sustained end to decades of occupation, blockades and lack of freedom endured by the Palestinian people. 

We must reckon with the failure to meet this urgent call, even as the situation in Gaza becomes ever more calamitous. The Israeli government under Netanyahu has blocked the provision of life-saving aid to civilians, leading to famine in Gaza. 

We must ensure that all those who speak out for peace and justice are able to do so freely, without repercussions. Freedom of speech and the right to protest must be upheld, whether undertaken by workers on the job and in our communities or by students on their campuses. We stand against the violent attacks on peaceful protesters and the use of severe force against nonviolent demonstrators —actions that have landed hardest on protesters of color. 

We cannot lose sight of our values. If we fail to act now, we are complicit. As North America’s largest service and care union, we have a responsibility to use our collective power to confront violence and injustice everywhere. 

Therefore, be it resolved: 

  • SEIU commits to call out injustice wherever it exists. We will stand in solidarity with our brothers, sisters, and siblings around the world, united in struggle for rights, dignity and fairness. We will speak truth to power, even when it is uncomfortable. We will fight for the rights of all workers, students, and others to speak freely, engage in nonviolent protest, and advocate for the marginalized. 
  • SEIU commits to stand up against racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, bigotry, religious persecution, and hatred in all of its forms. We will redouble our efforts to counter the rising tide of bigotry and hateful incidents directed toward Jews, Muslims, and people of color across North America and beyond. 

SEIU calls for: 

  • An immediate, permanent ceasefire. 
  • The immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas. 
  • The immediate release of Palestinians being held in Israeli jails without due process.
  • The delivery of life-saving food, water, medicine and other resources to the people of Gaza. 
  • Urgent concrete action by our governments to stop the catastrophic loss of civilian lives and achieve a permanent ceasefire, including enforcement of current U.S. laws barring military support for those blocking U.S. humanitarian aid, resumption of critical humanitarian aid funding, and investment in the reconstruction of devastated Gazan communities led by Palestinian civil society. 
  • An end to taxpayer dollars being used to fund military aid that enables attacks against innocent civilians in Gaza. 
  • A lasting solution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine that includes statehood and self-determination for the Palestinian people, durable security for the Israeli people, and peace, democracy, and justice for all in the region.