Branch International Relations


The role of the Branch International Relations Officer (BIRO) is to encourage among branch members an awareness of UNISON policy on international matters and an understanding of the importance of international issues.  We probably take for granted the right to access this website, or to meet and discuss work problems or politics, but trade unionists in many other countries risk intimidation and even death for active membership within a union.

I am striving to encourage members to participate in international issues from campaigning to responding to urgent actions and affiliating to organisations.  Communication with others who share a common interest is the very basis of trade unionism, and it shouldn't stop at national borders or because someone tells us you should stop talking. 

Members can look at the links and newsletters below and contact me on with particular international interests on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   I have taken on the responsibility for raising international issues and leading the branch's international activities.  l will ensure that views of the members are reported at the branch executive meeting and the AGM.

David Wand, Branch International Relations Officer


National UNISON web page on international issues

International Newsletter Sept 2017

International Workers Committee Newsletter November 2017

International Workers Committee Newsletter July 2017

Palestine Solidarity Campaign victory against the Government: Court protects the right to BDS

Tamil Solidarity May/June Activity Report

Tamil Solidarity Day - 24 June 2017

Tamil Solidarity invites you to take part in this year's Solidarity Day, which is taking place on Saturday 24th June at Unite House, 128 Theobald's Road, London, WC1X 8TN (Holborn tube). The event is to begin at 10:30am.

Come along to:

* Debate the issues
* Unite the movements
* Build the link up with our natural allies

Please find attached a pdfflyer with the agenda and the details of the event.

So, what are you waiting for? Please register in advance to book your place – click on the link

Take part in Solidarity Day 2017:

* For the right to Tamil self-determination
* For the rights of workers and all oppressed people
* In solidarity with our natural allies: our sisters and brothers fighting for their rights internationally

 New YouGov survey shows Britons are behind Palestine

We have some very exciting news. A few weeks ago, the PSC decided to do a poll of Britons to find out what their views on Palestine are. We asked about sympathy for Palestinians, what people think of BDS, reviewing trade with settlements, and banning settlement goods. The results are great news for the movement.

Public support for Palestine has a level of consensus that is remarkably consistent across party lines. A majority of Labour (51%) and Lib Dem voters (54%) thought BDS was reasonable, as did 40% of Conservatives.•
Almost 1 in 3 British people (29%) said the import of settlement goods should be banned.•
Over 3x as many people thought BDS was reasonable (43%) as those who thought it was unreasonable (13%).•
2x as many Brits have sympathy for Palestinians (20%) than with Israelis (10%). The sympathies of 18-24 year olds and 25-49 year olds are more likely to lie with the Palestinians (20%) than with the Israelis (5% and 4% respectively).•
Nearly half of the British public (45%) think that the UK should review trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

To help spread the word,we've created six infographics that show just how popular action for Palestine is. Take a look below and please share them on your social media – together, we can help spread the word that Britons are behind Palestine!

We also have a special request for the election. Tweet these infographics (especially the ones showing cross party support!) at your local candidates – they need to know that if they #VotePalestine it will be popular! Take a look at our specially created social media toolkit for #VotePalestine with downloadable infographics and suggested tweets for you to use!.

Thanks to your hard work, we've had a tremendous response to our #VotePalestine campaign!

We've had 11,800 emails sent, 2,280 candidates contacted, and over 270 candidates respond to our questions.

Take a look at the candidate views we've collated on our website. This way, you can make an informed decision on who will be the best advocate for Palestine in Parliament.

We've also summarised the political party positions on Palestine at: It's worth noting that Labour pledges to immediately recognise the state of Palestine if elected on June 9th, a step forward from their last
manifesto in 2015.

Palistinian Solidarity Campaign

International Newsletter - Update on UNISON's international work May 2017

In this edition:

  • A dangerous occupation – the impact of 50 years of occupation on Palestinian workers
  • Ebola: a trade union response
  • The fight against slavery
  • Nicaraguan social and economic progress under threat
  • Democracy and transparency must be central to negotiations of new trade agreements
  • Eight years of legal persecution finally over for Colombian human rights defender
  • UNISON International Seminar 2017
  • Upcoming International dates for your diary

 War on Want

UK votes leave - so where do we go now?  War on Want says "  We must ensure that the Leave vote cannot be claimed as a mandate for the UK to develop its own trade deals on the negative lines that it has traditionally supported within the EU.  Visit the War on Want website

International Health & Safety

This web site deals with issues faced by unions and employees from around the world by setting up an email service for campaigning. For the latest international health and safety news from countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey, Columbia, Mexico,visit This is a good link to video clips from around the world on people coming together to form unions, and stand up for basic rights; some of these are very funny.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Tamil Solidarity

Please visit this page and take action to keep the plight of the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka on the radar, and to make it clear that, while the UK government and other western governments have turned a blind eye, ordinary people – workers and young people, stand in solidarity and demand rights for trade unions and women's rights.

This year's Tamil Solidarity Day is to take place on the 24th June from 10:30am till 5:30pm at Unite's office in London.  Further information is on the attached newsletter.

Labour Behind the Label

Labour Behind the Label is a worldwide campaign that works to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry. Take action and get more information here.

 International Women's Day (IWD)

The first International Women's Day was held in 1911 and all around the world; IWD represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. This year's theme for the International Women's Day global hub is Make It Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. For more information, click on this link  UNISON works with sister trade unions in other countries and through key international organisations to promote and protect members' interests and concerns. site runs campaigns for the employees.  The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) is an international federation of trade unions.
























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