Communications Workers ‘urgently call’ for ceasefire, end to Gaza siege
Fire and smoke rise over Gaza after an Israeli bombing attack. | Fatima Shbair/AP

WASHINGTON —The Communications Workers have become the latest in a growing line of big unions demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, and particularly the Israeli siege of Gaza.

The union board’s February 6 resolution takes issue, however, with Hamas’s “horrifying” attack on Israel on October 7 and calls for the release of the hostages.

But the bulk of its resolution criticizes the Israeli overreaction by the nationalist government of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though it doesn’t mention him by name.

The resolution puts CWA closer to those unions, including the Teachers (AFT), Auto Workers, the Service Employees, National Nurses United, the Postal Workers, the National Writers Guild and the United Electrical Workers, who unequivocally advocate a ceasefire.

Some of those unions, along with individual unionists, locals and Auto Workers District 9, also demand an end to U.S. military aid to Netanyahu’s government, due to the carnage—almost 30,000 deaths and double that number injured—it has inflicted on Gazans. CWA does not.

“We urgently call for a stop to the ongoing siege of Gaza and strongly support a ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and the opportunity to deliver humanitarian aid,” CWA said, also citing the death toll, especially among children.

“More than 100 Israeli hostages remain in captivity and nearly all Palestinians living in Gaza have been driven from their homes, facing starvation and disease in addition to the constant risk of death or injury due to the ongoing bombardment of residential areas by the Israeli military.

“As always, it is working people who are most unable to escape the violence of war and who are bearing the brunt of the suffering.”

The union also blames anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks in the U.S. on “those who wish to divide us” and “fan the flames of hatred.” It doesn’t name names, however. The attacks put union members, their families, retirees and their communities at risk, CWA said.

“The global movement for economic justice requires solidarity, and solidarity is impossible in the face of war, terrorism, occupation, and repression. We urge elected leaders to come together to bring an end to the violence and set the stage for long-term solutions” for “safety, security, and democracy to the Middle East.”

It also puts CWA in line with public opinion, according to the latest polls, by the Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The poll reported 50% of respondents disapprove of the Biden administration’s unstinting support of Israel, while 31% approve. And only 35% believe Israel, under Netanyahu, shares U.S. values. The survey of more than 1,000 adults has a margin of error of 3.6%, plus or minus.

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Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.