May 14, 2016

By Simon Lau, Unifor Canada

Through this incredible journey, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. From shock in witnessing how the Israelis chose to oppress the Palestinians as second class citizens, to joyous in knowing that the General Union of Transport Workers have made a concerted effort to make female and youth representations a priority in their leadership structure, and all the way to the feeling of determination to do more going forward.

This trip has shown that when the international community stands together, anything is possible. As proof by the ITF truck drivers assistance project, we can make a profound difference even if we are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Once I get home to Canada, I plan to make awareness my number one priority. I am not confident that enough of our youths know about the great work Unifor is doing in Palestine. I feel obligated to make sure all our youths understand and take pride in what we have done because this too is their triumph. From there, our youths should come together and decide what further projects we can galvanize around.

In closing, I am personally honoured to have been invited to this once in a lifetime experience. I am proud to say that I am a unionist because when there is a call for help, labour organizations and unions do not make excuses, but rather take concrete actions. A special congratulations to the ITF for their leadership and all the amazing work they are doing globally.

Until next time, please remember that labour solidarity can indeed make the world a better place!