Home Local 26/January/2022 12:39 PM

Palestinians discussing with Israel issues related to workers - official

Palestinians discussing with Israel issues related to workers - official
Palestinians heading to work in Israel.

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, January 26, 2022 (WAFA) - The Palestinian Authority and Israel are discussing several issues related to Palestinian workers in Israel, today revealed the secretary-general of the Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions Shaher Saad.

He told the official Voice of Palestine that Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Civil Affair Authority, told him when they met yesterday that his office is working with the Israeli side on a number of issues regarding the situation of workers in Israel, most notably transferring workers' salaries to Palestinian banks, changing the classification of Gaza workers' permits from commercial to work permits, transferring the deductions from workers’ salaries accumulated since the early 1970s to a special fund, and fighting permit dealers.

Saad said he expects that transfer of workers’ salaries to Palestinian banks will start in six months.

"This will fully guarantee workers' rights as it would prevent the Israeli employers from manipulating wages for purposes of retirement and end-of-service benefits, and ensures that the employer will not try to cheat on the duration of the work," he said.

With regard to work permits for Gazans, Saad said that there are about 20,000 permits for workers from the Gaza Strip classified as "commercial permits", and work is being done to convert them into normal work permits, similar to workers in the West Bank. He said he expects this to be done within a month.

"This will ensure that the Palestinian worker receives the minimum wage (6000 shekels), as well as various insurances such as health insurance, work injuries, and other rights," he said.

As for the Palestinian workers' entitlements accumulated since the early 1970s, estimated at about 60 billion shekels, Saad explained that there are many deductions made from the wages of Palestinian workers in Israel, such as retirement deductions, end-of-service gratuity, and various types of taxes and insurances.

“These deductions are supposed to be transferred to a fund for the benefit of these workers, in accordance with the Paris Economic Protocol, and in accordance with a special law,” he said.

The secretary of the trade unions said he also received assurances from al-Sheikh regarding fighting permit dealers.

"Combating permit dealers is an ongoing process, and it needs laws and procedures to stop the theft of workers' money," he said, noting that this matter cost workers about 120 million shekels in 2020.


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