Workers worldwide are demanding a boost in the minimum wage—a fair’s day pay for a fair day’s work.
In Palestine, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) spearheaded a successful campaign for a minimum wage boost, effective in January, that for the first time in years enables workers to earn above poverty-level wages. The PGFTU is the umbrella federation for unions across the West Bank and Gaza.
“We connected this achievement with activating labor courts to look through workers’ cases that are delayed at the courts. And there are bottlenecks at courts that may reach 10 years. So, we wanted this to be accelerated, and to give the workers their rights,” says Mohammad Badri.
Badri, who works in the West Bank at the Palestinian cellular firm, Jawwal, where he heads up the union at the company, describes the campaign on the latest episode of The Solidarity Center Podcast. (The episode will be available in Arabic later this week.)
Solidarity Center Executive and Podcast host Director Shawna Bader-Blau says, “Unions in Palestine have an especially high hurdle to ensure workers are paid a decent wage because getting a minimum wage agreement with the Palestinian Authority is only the first step.
“Mohammad describes a tedious, time-consuming process that involves connecting with individual employers, many of whom are hostile, to ensure workers are paid the new wage.
“The employers are very greedy. They did not commit to this resolution and they don’t want to give higher salaries for their workers,” says Badri, who recently was elected to PGFTU’s executive committee and general secretariat.
“We will keep struggling and working at the federation, and we will not give up the labor rights. We will protect the rights of our workers.”
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