The Guardian • Issue #2102

Statement

AMWU WA branch condemns genocide in Gaza

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2102
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union WA

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union
121 Royal St
East Perth 6004

AMWU WA branch condemns genocide in Gaza and calls on the Australian Government to recognise the state of Palestine

31 May 2024

The AMWU Western Australian branch condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing Israeli attack on Rafah and the murder of Gazan civilians. The failure of governments around the world to act is an abrogation of our collective moral responsibility. We are witnessing a genocide of Palestinians and doing nothing about it.

Manufacturing workers have fought for peace for decades. Our Union has a proud history of Peace Committees and has a longstanding anti-war position. Members and officials of the AMWU and our precursor metal trades unions have been beaten, arrested, and jailed for maintaining an unflinching peace stance.

Many of our members work in defence materiels manufacturing, particularly naval shipbuilding at Henderson. We know better than most the capability of modern armaments. For weapons of war to be used on children and families sheltering in Rafah is sickening.

We call on the Australian Government to immediately strengthen end-use controls on defence materials exports. Without appropriate oversight of into whose hands the weapons we make end up, the government cannot claim that they are not complicit in how those weapons are used. Workers are unwillingly made part of a violent system that governments and arms corporations have total design and operational control over.

We also call on the Australian Government to urgently review Gazan refugee intake processes. Australian immigration officials revealed on 29 May 2024 that two thirds of Palestinians seeking asylum in Australia have had their visa applications rejected. In a situation as catastrophic as the one we are witnessing in Rafah, this is a stunning absurdity. The Australian Government must urgently fast-track visas for Palestinians wishing to find safety in Australia.

Finally, we call on the Australian Government to accelerate the process foreshadowed by Minister Wong in April 2024 to formally recognise the Palestinian state. We agree with the government that recognition is the only “pathway out of the endless cycle of violence.”

Our Union stands ready to assist Gazans with the rebuilding of their homes and infrastructure and commits to working in solidarity and cooperation with Palestinian metal trades unions and others in Palestine in any reconstruction effort. We support Gaza remaining Palestinian forever.

In solidarity,

Steve McCartney-State Secretary AMWU WA

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