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Scrap 'deal' to send Indian workers to Israel for replacing Palestinians: Central TUs

By Our Representative
  
The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations/ Associations*, opposing the alleged move to export Indian workers to Israel to replace Palestinian workers, has said that the move signifies the Modi government’s unethical and duplicitous stand on Israel, which is "shamelessly escalating its genocidal attack against Palestinians, rejecting appeals by the UNO or even their masters, the USA for a ceasefire".
In a statement, the Central TUs said, first the Modi government was quick to express its solidarity with Israel, then there was "studied backtracking by the Foreign Ministry", following which humanitarian aid began being sent to Palestine. Then, it abstained from supporting the UN Resolution for a ceasefire.
"But now even more shocking facts are coming out", the Central TUs said. Thus, "in May 2023, during the visit of Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen to New Delhi, both countries signed an agreement to send 42,000 Indian workers to Israel, out of which 34,000 were to be brought into the construction industry, to replace the Palestinian workers."
"Now, the Indian government is planning to export around 90,000 construction workers to Israel as demanded by them", said Central TUs, adding, "The Indian Government is playing a despicable role of supporting the Israeli plans to throw out Palestinian workers. Retaliation of Hamas attack is only an excuse."
The statement continued, "As it is, the settler-colonial occupation of Palestine has decimated its economy, causing high levels of poverty and unemployment, and has resulted in Palestinians being dependent on Israel for employment."
"Though numbers have fluctuated over time, an average of 1.3 lakh Palestinians were employed in Israel, with the construction sector accounting for the largest share of Palestinian workers, with Palestinian worker making almost 65-70% of the total workforce", it added.
Central TUs commented, "Nothing could be more immoral and disastrous for India than the said export of workers to Israel. That India is even considering exporting workers shows the manner in which it has dehumanized and commodified Indian workers.
During  Israeli foreign minister's visit to New Delhi in May, both countries signed  agreement to send 42,000 Indian workers to Israel
"Such step will amount to complicity on India's part with Israel's ongoing genocidal war against Palestinians and will naturally have adverse implications for Indian workers in the entire region", it underlined.
The statement said, "India's trade union movement must rise in solidarity with Palestinian workers and reject this disastrous idea. Let's resolve that we will not work to replace Palestinian workers in Israel. India and Indian workers should boycott Israeli products. Indian workers, as their counterparts in some western countries, should refuse to handle the Israeli cargo."
The Central TUs demanded that the agreement with Israel to export Indian workers be scrapped immediately; there should he an immediate halt to Israeli aggression against Palestine and end of its occupation; and the Palestinian right to a sovereign homeland be upheld.
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*Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India United Trade Union Centre, Trade Union Coordination Centre, Self Employed Women's Association, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Labour Progressive Federation, United Trade Union Congress, and Independent sectoral federations/associations

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