Workers in the public sector have decided to strike again on Wednesday. They are protesting what is being referred to as “the lack of government’s commitment to the agreements made with the union.”Workers in the public sector have decided to strike again on Wednesday. They are protesting what is being referred to as “the lack of government’s commitment to the agreements made with the union.”
It has been a year since the US-led political and economic blockade was imposed and the government has not been in the position to pay the public sector on a regular basis. Although some European donations have helped, the public sector had been paid in the past with funds received from trade tariffs owed by the Israelis. When the blockade began, the Israeli government froze even more Palestinian funds, leaving a devastating crisis.
Banks have been hit hard as well, with open threats made by the US in the past to any bank that facilitated transfers. Although some of those restrictions have eased, many remain.
The union’s stated position is that “with the repeated invasions of this country and the suffering of our people from poverty, which has become a phenomenon, and the patience we have demonstrated, our call has fallen on deaf ears.” The union was not only speaking of the international community, but of the government as well. “The Palestinian government did not abide by the agreement made between it and the union, particularly in the case of staff salaries and dues.”
The Council of the Union of Workers signed an agreement with the government on 13 January 2007 and with it were expectations of follow-through on a salary payment plan.
The call for a general strike is for Wednesday, 25 April and Wednesday 2 May, reaching from the northern to the southern governorates.
Salaries and benefits need also be paid to the families of political prisoners in Israeli jails and those killed by Israeli forces.