INTERNATIONAL LABOR DAY…CHANCE TO EVALUATE THE NATIONAL POLICIES TO PROTECT WORKERS AND UNEMPLOYED IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (I.C.S.P.R) greets Palestinian workers on the occasion of the International Labor Day on the first of May to commemorate the workers who defense their rights more than a century ago, it’s a day to account governments on the progress made to protect workers’ rights which consistent with International Human Rights standards enshrined in the conventions of the United Nations General Assembly and the International Labor Organization conventions.
This occasion comes this year and the conditions of the working class and Palestinian society as a whole, is experiencing an unprecedented situation of degradation and decline in social and economic scene, especially in light of weak mechanisms to protect workers and ensure their rights, and the lack of Palestinian development plan take it upon themselves to protect the rights of workers and the unemployed. Studies and statistics showed that the continuing violations against workers in the private sector in terms of inability to provide the right to work, especially in Gaza Strip, which unemployment rate almost 42%, while unemployment rate among young people and graduates almost 60%, The continued lack of respect of the labor Act provisions in terms of minimum wages and and insurance against work-related injuries, maternity leave and child labor before they reach working age. The Government is still unable to provide legislation and policies of protection unemployment and poverty, to the point that the so-called social security law devoid of Protection of the Unemployed.
The violations of the Palestinian workers in the public sector exacerbated by the Government decisions, such as the resolution cut in salaries up to 40% of employees salaries in the public sector, this will be followed with early and forced retirement,
In addition that approximately (48000) employee in Gaza Strip still receive 50% of their monthly salaries, as well as another decision of the Government of reconciliation, which suspended aid and subsidies to nearly 600 Palestinian families in Gaza Strip, which exacerbated the impact of the problems in the community especially the problem of poverty in Gaza Strip.
It is clear that year-2017 is considered the worst of all years; as both the Palestinian unemployed and labor force, both in the private and public sectors, and even UNRWA workers have not been exempted from punitive measures under the pretext of speaking up and expressing their political opinion and expression.
International Commission to Support Palestinian People’s Rights(I.C.S.P.R) stressed that the Palestinian government has been unable to adopt protective policies of workers, especially a minimum wage and providing decent working conditions for them; considering the occupation and its various procedures applied, especially the imposition of the siege on Gaza Strip; as well as the Palestinian leadership division and all of its accompanying resolutions taken recently, played a clear role in the deteriorating social and economic conditions of both workers and the unemployed. Subsequently, ICSPR is calling for:
An urgent and quick International intervention using all authorizations stipulated in Chapter VI and VII of the United Nations declaration seeking to end the siege imposed on Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian National Authority to abide all Legislations and Policies approved in the International Contractual Obligations, including those Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which the PNA has acceded.
The National Reconciliation Government and those responsible to apply protective and effective policies that protect the Palestinians right to work and reduce the unemployment ratio and protect the unemployed from poverty; consistent with the International Obligations under the International Human Rights conventions.
The Palestinian Authority to stop abandoning it’s commitments towards Electricity, Water, Health, Education and Humanitarian Sectors. These and other resolutions cannot be justified, nor there is any legal or even moral support for them; and giving up these commitments would mean compromising the Palestinian Economic and Social Rights, which could turn into a chaotic mess in Gaza Strip that would seriously harm the security and safety of the Palestinian People.
ICSPR urge Trade Unions to unite and create entities that are capable of exerting considerable pressure on the Palestinian Government to positively intervene and guarantees the Palestinian workers rights that are internationally recognized.
Calls upon the International Community in general, and the International Labor Organization in particular, to pressure on the Israeli occupation to fulfill its legal obligations towards the Palestinian workers; to end Gaza siege, and to contribute in activating accountability of the Israeli occupation for their violations against Palestinian workers and civilians.
Developing the role of labor inspection department through increasing the number of employees and training them, in order to be able to effectively control the work field and working conditions. In addition to taking effective measures to eliminate children labor which violates the provisions and conditions of the Labor Law No. 7 of 2000.