From the TUC

Workers in Gaza need practical help

09 Nov 2014, By

The TUC is planning to visit Gaza at the end of the month, to look at what we can do to help the working people there. Of course, the major contribution we’ll be able to make is political – like the General Council statement adopted by Congress, or supporting the call to recognise a Palestinian state. But we can also provide practical support, such as backing the new TUC Aid appeal to rebuild the Beit Lahia Plant Nursery in Northern Gaza.

The TUC first provided help to the project in 2012, along with our Australian trade union equivalent and the Ma’an Development Center. This summer, as the Israeli bombs and missiles rained down on Gaza, the nursery sustained huge damage – as did the Ma’an project office.

Some 50,000 trees, saplings, and seedlings withered and died due to lack of irrigation during weeks of military offensive by the Israeli Army. The losses include 1581 olive saplings, 869 poppy saplings, 44,300 tomatoes seedlings, and 12 citrus trees. So now we’re aiming to raise £15,000 to restock the nursery and rebuild the office.

We’d love to see national unions provide support, but branches and even individual members can make a difference:

  • £10 would buy 10 pumpkin seedlings or 10 aubergine seedlings;
  • £15 would buy 10 olive saplings or 10 lemon saplings;
  • £20 would buy 10 tomato seedlings; and
  • £30 would buy 10 melon seedlings.

The nursery is a vital employer of local labour, as well as helping farmers to provide the people of Gaza with the food they need to become self-sufficient.

You could hold a collection at a branch meeting, or ask members to give direct through the Just Giving website. We’ll provide an update when we visit Gaza, and update donors regularly through the TUC website.