Toronto Labour Council Demands: End Arms Exports to Israel

WHEREAS solidarity with workers everywhere is a crucial part of trade unionism, and the workers’ struggle has no borders; and

WHEREAS every day the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, its affiliates and our members are seeing the horrifying bombing and mass killing of working people in Gaza with equipment made in Canada, supplied and facilitated by means of export permits issued by the Canadian government – the same Canadian government that carries out strike breaking against workers here in Canada; and

WHEREAS more than 32,0001 Palestinians – including more than 22,000 women and children – have been killed, with the death continuing to grow day by day; and

WHEREAS the International Court of Justice has found that Israel’s war on Gaza is a “plausible genocide,” and UN human rights experts have specifically called on Canada to end its arms trade with Israel – an arms trade that likely constitutes violations of international law and the convention on genocide; and

WHEREAS Palestinian unions have issued an urgent call to the international labour movement and our members to refuse to build, handle or transport weapons to Israel, to take action against military and other companies that are complicit in Israel’s siege of Gaza, and to pressure our governments to stop all military trade with and funding for Israel; and

WHEREAS the Toronto & York Region Labour Council is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress, and through the CLC to the International Trade Union Confederation; and

WHEREAS military equipment and components made in Canada, supplied and facilitated by export permits issued by the Canadian government, has been used by the Israeli military to carry out these attacks on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, with $28.5-million worth of permits issued in the first two months of the war on Gaza remain in effect; and

WHEREAS Israel’s occupation of Palestine is, in effect, another colonial occupation project, similar to Canada’s history of colonization of Turtle Island and forced dispossession and cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples; and

WHEREAS working class opposition to Israel’s US-backed war on the Palestinian people goes hand-in-hand with the labour movement’s motto that “an injury to one is an injury to all” as well as the call “Arab, Jewish, Black and White, Workers of the World Unite”;

Therefore the Labour Council resolves to:

1. Support the call by Palestinian trade unions for unions everywhere to take immediate action to stop the shipments of all arms that facilitates Israel’s US-backed genocide against the people of Palestine; that we stand in solidarity with dock and transportation workers in Barcelona, Belgium, Italy and elsewhere who have refused to handle arms shipments for this war; and that we support and encourage similar workers actions here in Canada to stop the issuing of export permits and to prevent the shipment of any and all military components and equipment destined for Israel; and

2. Call on the Government of Canada to end all direct and indirect exports of military equipment and components destined for Israel and end its longstanding support and complicity with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands; and

3. In opposing the colonial occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel – with all its similarities to Canada’s colonization and forced dispossession of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island, we call for an immediate end to Israel’s bombing and ground assault in Gaza, for an end to Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and to end all military exports from Canada. •


  1. Numbers are current as of March 26, 2024.

Since 1871, the Labour Council has championed principles which improve the lives of its members and their communities. Today, we work for justice in our workplaces, in our politics, in our communities, and in our world -