Some 1,5000 members of Swedish Port Workers Union impose boycott in all countryâ€™s ports which handle 95% of foreign trade to protest Israelâ€™s raid on Gaza-bound flotilla, which included several Swedish nationals
Swedish dockworkers launched a weeklong boycott of Israeli ships and cargo on Wednesday to protest Israelâ€™s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists last month.
Some 1,500 members of the Swedish Port Workers Union began the boycott at all Swedenâ€™s ports which handle more than 95% of the countryâ€™s foreign trade. The action is planned to end on June 29.
â€œEven if goods arrive in trucks, dockworkers often have some role in handling them when they arrive in port,â€ said Per Helgesson, the unionâ€™s chief negotiator.
The union supported the international aid convoy and demands that Israel lift its blockade on Gaza. Several Swedish activists were on the flotilla when Israeli commandos attacked it on May 31.
Israel recently eased the 3-year-old blockade under international pressure, but union spokesman Bjorn Borg said the measure was insufficient.
â€œWe donâ€™t think it is far-reaching enough,â€ Borg said. â€œWe want them to lift the blockade.â€
Borg said stevedores in the southwestern port of Goteborg had already refused to handle about a dozen containers containing cargo from Israel or goods destined for it.
Officials said they expected the boycott to have a minimal impact on Swedish-Israeli trade, which accounts for 0.2% of the Nordic countryâ€™s total imports and exports.
Last year, Swedish exports to Israel were valued at 2.5 billion kronor ($320 million) and imports amounted to some 850 million kronor, according to the Swedish Trade Council.