The Solidarity Center in Palestine supports training and advocacy aimed at creating decent jobs for workers. Credit: Solidarity Center/Abed Zaqout
In Palestine, where trade unions are among the most significant institutions of civil society not directly tied to any political party, the Solidarity Center works with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) in its advocacy for sustainable job creation and labor law enforcement and its efforts to improve the lives of working people and create a more equitable society. The Solidarity Center also works closely with PGFTU’s many branches, affiliates and committees, such as the youth, media and campaign committees, in both Gaza and the West Bank. The PGFTU heads the National Alliance for Social Justice, a 41-member coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) that advocates for labor law reform in compliance with International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, and ensures equitable rights and protections for all workers in Palestine.
The Solidarity Center supports the PGFTU to address the needs of workers who have been most impacted by the pandemic—including women, those in the informal economy and workers in sectors such as health care, banking, textiles and tourism. The work includes advocacy for reforms to build systems in the post-pandemic environment that work for working people. The pandemic has led to an economic crisis and PGFTU is focused on increasing and enforcing the minimum wage. Employers have used the pandemic as an excuse to underpay workers, especially youth and women. The number of workers hired under temporary contracts has also expanded during the pandemic, and the PGFTU has responded, with Solidarity Center support, by negotiating for workers to be made permanent and by organizing and mobilizing workers on temporary contracts in a variety of sectors.
The Solidarity Center also supports the PGFTU in building stronger connections to other CSOs, specifically partnering with the Sharek Forum for Youth on young worker organizing initiatives; 24FM, to improve coverage of labor issues and unions in the media; and Women Media and Development Association (TAM) on issues related to gender equality and eradicating gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.