Landmark UAW International Ruling Rejects Local BDS Resolution
In a landmark decision yesterday, United Auto Workers (UAW) International Union granted an appeal filed by a member of the University of California student group Informed Grads, thereby striking down a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution adopted by UAW Local 2865 last year. UAW 2865 represents graduate student workers at all of the University of California campuses. UAW International, the body that oversees all UAW locals in the United States, set national precedent by denying the local organization the right to adopt such a divisive and alienating measure.
Over the past year, certain members of UAW 2865 championed a one-sided, counterproductive BDS referendum that limits academic freedom and promotes discrimination based on national origin. Rather than focusing on the needs of the student workers they were elected to represent, these activists promoted an effort that seeks to undermine peaceful dialogue and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.
“All workers represented by UAW International can now rest assured that their union will not support BDS tactics or endorse an extreme political agenda that is discriminatory, alienating, and stifles academic freedom,” said Informed Grads member Karra Greenberg, who testified at the appeal hearing. “The anti-Semitism and active promotion of hate that ran rampant throughout this BDS campaign cannot and must not be tolerated. We applaud UAW International for taking a firm position against BDS and discrimination based on religion or national origin.”
“We are very pleased by United Auto Workers (UAW) International Union’s forceful rejection of BDS, which sets a powerful precedent for other labor unions and national organizations” said Scott Edelman, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the international law firm that represented Informed Grads in its appeal. “This result was due to a real team effort between our firm and Informed Grads, and I want to pay tribute to my colleagues Jesse Gabriel, Lauren Eber, Neta Levanon and Will Brien for their dedication and hard work.”
From the International UAW:
"...it is our unanimous belief that the notion of BDS, credibly, espouses discrimination and vilification against Israelis and UAW members who are of Jewish lineage. From this perspective, we find that the BDS Resolution is systematic in its decrying orations about Israel and its stated atrocities against Palestinians. Conversely, as emphasized earlier, the local union’s critique of any other ethnicity or victimizer outside of the Israeli and /or Jewish population is not present in its arguments. Thus, the local union’s platform is apparent in its unfavorable stance against the state of Israel, Israelis and , invariably, Jewish union members.”
For more information on the International UAW's repeal of BDS , see
BDS resolution overturned by UC grad students’ national union: It discriminates against Jews