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CITU asks Centre to not send Indian workers to Israel

Originally published: NewsClick.in on November 7, 2023 by NewsClick Desk (more by NewsClick.in)  | (Posted Nov 08, 2023)

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has slammed the Israeli Builders Association’s plan to hire 50,000-100,000 Indian workers, particularly in construction, to replace 90,000 Palestinian workers asked to leave after the October 7 Hamas attack.

The Association had urged the Benjamin Netanyahu government to allow companies to hire around 100,000 Indian workers to replace Palestinians who lost their work permits, according to a Voice of America report.

Haim Feiglin of Association said it is negotiating with India and waiting for the Israeli government’s approval. “We hope to engage some 50,000-100,000 workers from India to work across the sector and bring it to normalcy,” he said.

“The Israeli Builders Association has urged India to send 50,000-1,00,000 workers, construction workers in particular, from India for working in Israel. The Association has also reportedly sent a request to the government of India directly and also through Israeli government,” the CITU said in a press release on Tuesday.

Denouncing the “brutal inhuman acts of the Israeli government against Palestinian workers in Israel”, the CITU demanded that the government not sending Indian workers, including in construction, to Israel. The union also called upon working people to refuse any such move by the government.

“CITU welcomes the resolution adopted and call given by Construction Workers Federation of India to frontally oppose any such move to dispatch Indian workers to Israel at this crucial time,” the statement read.

Instead, the Centre “must rather support the latest UN Resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire by Israel on a humanitarian truce and to ensure a Palestinian homeland with the pre-1967 border free from all occupation”.

CITU also called upon the working class to mobilise in support of Palestinians and their demand for homeland, as per UN resolutions, and “against the U.S. imperialist-backed ongoing genocide against Palestine”.

The union asked workers to join the four-day protest-cum-solidarity action on Palestinian organized by the progressive and Left forces on Tuesday, when U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and defense secretary Lloyd Austin will be in India.

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