| While Boycott Watch (www.boycottwatch.org) previously
reported the British 'National Association of Teachers in Higher Education'
(NATFHE) union has adopted an academic boycott of Israel and will absorb the
Association of University Teachers (AUT) which has previously rejected an
Academic boycott after accepting it for a short time (See BW
Article ), another union under the British Empire, this one in Canada, has
adopted the Arab boycott of Israel, and with its proximity to the US, American
businesses need to be aware of this before entering into business with the
Canadian union, as they may find themselves in violation of US laws.
On May 27th, 2006, CBC News in Canada reports
CBC News in Canada reports as follows: "The Ontario
division of Canada's largest union has voted to support an international
campaign that is boycotting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
Delegates to the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario convention in
Ottawa voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support the campaign until it sees
Israel recognizing the Palestinians' right to self-determination. The Ontario
group represents more than 200,000 workers."
"international campaign" mentioned is the Arab boycott of Israel. US law states
that no US persons may engage into an official foreign-government sanctioned
boycott against a nation friendly to the US. Congress created the law to
prevent people from using boycotts to create de facto foreign policy, which
Congress affirmed as its domain.
With such a large
number or members, Boycott Watch advises US companies to take precautions
before conducting business with this union or any subsidiary union or
subsidiary organization, as not to even accidentally enter into situation where
an agreement or conversation may result in violation of US Antiboycott laws
which carries very heavy penalties.
"Boycott Watch is
not calling for a boycott. We report and advise, but we do not take sides in
boycotts unless the boycott is blatantly anti-American or violates US laws, as
in this case." said Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch. "Because of the
nature of US Antiboycott laws, US companies must perform appropriate
due-diligence work before engaging in any and all business dealings and
communications with this union, including making sure all correspondence with
the Canadian union is proper and not possibly violating US laws. It is
advisable not to speak to the Canadian union whatsoever unless the US person in
the conversation is knowledgeable about US Antiboycott laws and what can and
can not be said, as well as what may need to be reported to the US Department
of Commerce regarding such dealings. This is not a simple law, so companies may
therefore choose just not to do business with the union or even answer the
phone when they call just to play it safe."
continued: "Until now, Antiboycott compliance was an issue only dealt with by
Middle-East import-export specialists who know how to specifically avoid such
problems. Now, everyone needs to be aware of these laws and everyone needs to
become a specialist before dealing with this Canadian union and their political
stance which has nothing to do with the work performed by the union members.
All they are doing is punishing themselves and people wishing to do business
with them. If they are smart, they will rescind their boycott immediately."
While it is not illegal to do business with any
Canadian company that adopts the Arab boycott of Israel, if that company, or
any company in any country for that matter, asks or requires a US company to
comply with the Arab boycott of Israel or their implementation of it, the US
company will be required, by law, to report the request to the Office of
Antiboycott Compliance; and if the US company complies with the boycott, they
may face felony charges for violating the US Antiboycott laws.