Worker unrest sweeps through West Bank refugee camps

Strikes in Palestine may not be as common, or as large scale as those in Israel, but they do occur.  This week, it’s the turn of UNRWA employees, the people who work on behalf of the UN refugee agency inside West Bank refugee camps.

Their protests, reported on the Ma’an News Agency website, focus on a continuing series of cutbacks that have resulted in significant job losses.  Yesterday, UNRWA employees shut down all the organization’s sub-offices in the West Bank in protest.  They are particularly angry at the differences between what Palestinian and foreign UNRWA employees receive.

Imad Abu Sunbul, a spokesman for the workers, said:

“If UNRWA is really having a budget deficit, let them reduce expenses on the high-ranking executives whose salaries have not been affected by the reductions which started more than 10 years ago.

“It is unbelievable that a sick refugee pays 40 percent of his healthcare costs, while foreign employees enjoy countless privileges including shopping, trips and five-star hotels across the Middle East at the expense of the refugees.”