A mural with the Unite the Union logo on it in Dublin

A newly formed group of Green Party members has called on Unite trade union general secretary Sharon Graham to explain what she has done to support campaigns for justice for Palestine. Greens in Unite – a group of people who are members of both the Green Party of England and Wales and Unite – has written to Graham asking her to issue a call for Unite members to join Palestine solidarity protests.

In their letter, the group wrote to ask what Graham had done “to use the union’s influence to promote the rights and wellbeing of the people of Palestine and Israel, the vast majority of whom wish to live in peace”.

Greens in Unite go on to ask the Unite general secretary to set out what she has done to “clearly oppose the UK Government’s approval of Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civilians”, “influence the Labour Party to take a firm stance against the use of collective punishment and other war crimes against Palestinian civilians”, and “urge Unite members to join protests organised across the UK in support of freedom and justice for Palestine”.

Ekua Bayunu, a Green Party councillor in Manchester and member of Greens in Unite told Bright Green: “The email to Sharon Graham, General Secretary of Unite comes from a collective desire to have our union stand up and be counted at such a crucial moment in Palestine’s history.

“We recognise that Unite has a long history of supporting Palestine and its Jewish & Palestinian members in the UK. However, we felt that taking to the streets in protest is an essential part of that work especially against the backdrop of the erosion of our rights to do so.

“Sharon is the advocate of ‘Work, Voice, Pay’. Here we called on her to encourage all Unite members to exercise their right to having a voice.”

On the establishment of Greens in Unite, Bayunu said: “Whilst the Green Party Trade Union group have been an officially recognised Special Interest Group with [the Green Party] for some time, Greens in Unite have recently formed to focus on ‘greening’ our membership of Unite the Union.

“It’s been exciting to see such a diverse group emerging with activists from across industries and professions and a cohort from the Unite Community group well represented.”

The full text of the Greens in Unite letter can be found here.

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Image credit: Kris Olin – Creative Commons