Palestinian Trade Unions Call on Indian Workers to Refuse Complicit Agreements with Israel


Palestinian trade unions call on their Indian counterparts to reject any agreements with Israel’s apartheid regime that would facilitate the replacement of Palestinian workers with Indian workers as part of Israel’s policy of besieging the Palestinian population. If it goes through, the proposed agreement will deepen India’s complicity in Israel’s grave abuses against the Palestinian people. 

Israel has been carrying out a genocidal war against 2.3 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, murdering over 10,000 people, including over 4,500 children. For 75 years, Israel has imposed a regime of apartheid and settler colonialism against the Palestinian people. Israel’s systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy, its discriminatory and racist laws and its restrictions on freedom of movement and association, which affect all Palestinians including workers, are aspects of this settler-colonial, apartheid regime. 

Thousands of Palestinian workers face daily humiliation and abuse at Israeli army checkpoints. Thousands of Palestinian workers in Israel were detained and tortured in Israeli prisons in the occupied West Bank as Israel carried out its carpet bombing of Gaza and many have lost their livelihoods due to additional movement restrictions. 

The call for such an agreement with India reflects Israel’s racism and commodification of Indian workers, where they are being asked to “replace” another set of workers enduring genocide. This racism extends to other Asian migrant workers as well. For example, Human Rights Watch has documented the abuse of Thai workers in Israel’s agriculture sector. 

We call for a renewal of solidarity between workers from the Global South, in particular between Indian and Palestinian workers. As arms and agribusiness trade between India and Israel increase, India’s historic solidarity with the Palestinian people has eroded. This was reflected in India’s abstention in the UN GA vote for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 

We thank the Indian trade unions, including the Construction Workers Federation of India, that have notably opposed this agreement. We call on all trade unions in India, and workers more broadly, to:

1. Reject any racist agreement with Israel that would facilitate the replacement and further oppression of Palestinian workers. It dehumanizes us all.

2. Support trade union actions to boycott corporations complicit in Israel’s apartheid regime and genocide of the Palestinian people, and refuse handling of Israeli cargo, as workers all over the world are doing and as Indian workers at Cochin Port had done in the past.

3.  Join the larger movement to call for ceasefire and accountability for the crimes against the Palestinian people.


  • General Union of Palestinian Workers.
  • Palestinian Union of Postal, IT & Telecommunications Workers.
  • Palestinian Federation of New Unions.
  • Federation of Independent Trade Unions.

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