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Waitrose and Morrisons, UK Largest Supermarket Chains, Targeted for  Boycott for Selling Produce from Illegal Israeli Settlements

By Sarah Colborne 

PSC, November 14, 2009

Major Supermarkets Selling Illegal Produce Targeted in Week of Boycott Actions
Waitrose and Morrisons, two of the UK's largest supermarket chains, will be targeted in a 'Week of Boycott Action' in protest against their continued sale of produce from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
They will be the main focus for action next week, in protests organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other UK organisations. The  week coincides with a week of action called for by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
Actions include demonstrations and pickets outside stores, and mass, co-ordinated phone calls to the HQs of both stores on Wednesday.
Waitrose has said, in a statement, that the produce it sells from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank is grown on farms where a 'Palestinian and Israeli workforce have worked side by side for many years'.
In reality, there is no equality between the Palestinian workers, who are forced to work in the settlements because their own economy has been destroyed by the Israeli occupation.
-  The settlements are built on stolen land and are irrigated by water stolen from the Palestinians
-  Palestinian children as young as 12 work on settlement farms

 - Palestinian workers in Israeli Settlements earn less than 50% of the minimum wage, and sometimes as little as five US cents an hour (source: Kav LaOved

 - Kavlaoved also documented how Palestinian settlement workers receive no holiday pay, pensions or sick pay

 - They require permits to work, which can be removed if they complain about their conditions or ask for a pay rise. Israeli workers do not require work permits

- Palestinian workers must travel through Israeli barriers and checkpoints every day in order to get to their place of employment, then get home again. Queues of workers start forming at checkpoints as early as 2am, with little or no shelter provided for those queuing. Israeli  workers are free to move around the Palestinian West Bank without restrictions, and special roads, which Palestinians are forbidden to use, have been built for them

- Palestinian Trade Unions are not recognised by Israeli employers in the settlements, and Palestinian workers are not allowed to join Israeli trade unions

- Kavlaoved have detailed cases of Palestinian workers who are injured at work and do not receive compensation from their Israeli employers

 All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and present a serious obstacle to a just resolution for the Palestinian people.
Sarah Colborne, Director of Campaigns and Operations at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: 'We will not buy goods grown on stolen Palestinian land. This week, we are specifically targeting Waitrose and Morrisons as they have so far failed to engage in serious discussion with us. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign are hoping that they will reconsider this, take a principled position, support peace and justice, and stop stocking goods from illegal Israeli settlements in their stores.'
 1.        Media contact: Sarah Colborne, 020 7700 6192

 2.        In September 2009, the TUC voted to support a campaign of boycott, sanction and disinvestment, targeting Israeli goods as well as companies which benefit from Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

 3.        The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is calling for an end to the import of goods and food produce that has been sourced from the illegal Israeli settlements. Until this happens, PSC calls for all goods from  the settlements that are sold in the UK to be clearly marked as originating from Illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Tel:   020 7700 6192
Fax:  020 7609 7779





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