Statement on World Social Justice Day
20 February 2024

The Australian union movement is the largest movement for social justice in Australia and we are proud to represent workers who work in social justice every single day.
Right now, many of our members are watching in horror at global events. The union movement is opposed to war and violence, and we are committed to peace. Peace is union business.
ASU Secretary Angus McFarland has recently met with friend of the ASU, Nasser Mashni, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN).

The ASU is proudly a founding member of APAN, and APAN briefed the ASU on the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, especially the grave concern for Palestinians in Rafah facing a brutal assault. 
Like all people, the Palestinian people have a right to live in peace, security, and dignity. We reiterate our previous statements from October 2023 and onwards, calling on the Federal Government to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire. 

In January we joined with APHEDA (the international aid arm of the union movement) to call on the Australian Government to immediately reinstate funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), which is the only agency able to provide healthcare, housing and other critical humanitarian aid in Gaza. The Federal Government must act now.

There needs to be the immediate recognition of the state of Palestine (in line with Labor Party policy) and an end to Israeli settlements that are contrary to international law and an impediment to a sustainable peace.

We strongly condemn the violent acts committed by extremist settlers and remind Israel of its obligations under international law and of course, all hostages must be released.

We call on the Federal Government to sit down with the leaders from the Australian Palestinian community, such as APAN and to hear from them on further steps the Government can take to support the Palestinian people and peace at this time. 

Finally, we want to thank our members who have been contributing to support the effort in Gaza to provide practical assistance to human beings suffering unimaginable violence and fear. We acknowledge our members who are worried for family members in the regions, and we pay tribute to ASU members working at organisations such as Amnesty, MSF, ActionAid and of course APHEDA. 
The ASU has made a significant donation to APHEDA the international aid arm of the union movement.
If you would like to contribute to the humanitarian effort in Gaza, please consider joining and donating to APAN and APHEDA.
We will continue to speak out, attend rallies and events and call on the Government to act for peace.


Actions ASU members can take:

The ASU is proud to be a founding member of APAN. APAN was established in 2011 and is made up of many thousands of Australians who are concerned about Israel’s continuing human rights abuses against Palestinians, and the continuing effects of dispossession and displacement. APAN members include grassroots human rights groups; Jewish and Palestinian groups; aid and development agencies; and unions. Find out more about APAN's important work here.


The ASU is a proud partner with Union Aid Abroad - Apheda, the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA works to support stronger union and social movements in thirteen locations in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, and Southern Africa and are  currently running an urgent fundraiser appeal for Gaza.

I love being a member of the ASU because as a collective we make a difference in the lives of all of the workers across the community sector
Josephine ASU member