The World Federation of Trade Unions, on behalf of its 100 million members who live and struggle in 132 countries around the globe, expresses its internationalist solidarity with our brothers and sisters Palestinian workers, who face the danger of COVID-19 Pandemic and the attacks against their lives and working rights by the State of Israel and employers.
200.000 Palestinian workers work in the Israeli labor market, while it is estimated that 70.000-100.000 of them were obliged to stop working because of the closure of sectors by Israel as a protection measure against the Coronavirus, with no wage and social security, and facing serious violations of their working rights.
100.000 of Palestinians are working within the Green Line, half of them quarantined and returned home without the necessary diagnostic checks at checkpoints, despite thousands of cases of Coronavirus being recorded in Israel.
The rest of them stay within the Green Line, spending the night in their workplaces, in miserable conditions that do not guarantee any measure of protection of their health and lives.
The WFTU, the world class-oriented trade union movement, strongly condemns this criminal attitude of Israel, against the right of Palestinian workers to work and move in safety and dignity. The State of Israel takes advantage of the need of Palestinian workers to work within the Green Line, leaving them exposed to the Coronavirus without insurance and medical care, without compensation at the end of their service, and making arbitrary redundancies.
We demand the respect of their health and working rights, adequate financial support for those Palestinian workers who are not working because of measures to limit the spread of the Pandemic.
The improvement of public and free health centers and diagnostic tests for all workers exposed to COVID-19 in their workplaces are also necessary.
The WFTU affiliates call upon the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary measures to protect the health of these workers and to support them financially.
We welcome the action of the WFTU affiliates who call for the establishment of a special support fund for non-working workers, as well as for inspection of the observance of workers’ rights within the Green Line, as provided by international conventions.
The bureaucratic trade union leadership of PGFTU, which receives large amount of money from the deductions that Israel makes from the salaries of the Palestinian workers, has also serious responsibility, and we call on it to immediately give this money to workers. This money belongs to the workers. It is their money.
We understand that at the outbreak of the pandemic, where workers around the world are at the forefront of danger and their labor rights are brutally violated, Palestinian workers have to deal with the repression of Israeli occupation and attacks, as well as with the racist and inhumane behavior of Israeli employers in the workplaces.
During the International Campaign of support to the People of Palestine, launched by the WFTU in February 2020 and embraced by trade unions around the world, against the new plan of Trump, once again we stand in solidarity with them and demand their protection, respect of their working rights, the continuation of the struggle for the independent state of Palestine on 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.