Palestinian gov’t workers on strike yet again over unpaid wages

According to this report, Palestinian government employees have yet again had to go out on strike to pressure the Palestinian Authority to pay their wages. They have called a two-day strike this week to demand full payment of back salaries. The Palestinian Authority claims that wages have gone unpaid because of Israeli sanctions, but the unions don’t seem to be accepting that excuse and continue their campaign of “Resistance” according to the head of the Government Employees’ Union, Bassam Zakarneh.

Ha’aretz reports that “Hundreds of Palestinian government workers protested outside their prime minister’s office on Tuesday saying they had not received a full salary in almost three months amid a deepening financial crisis. A cash shortfall in the Palestinian Authority worsened after Israel imposed sanctions following the West Bank government’s successful bid to gain de-facto recognition of Palestine as a state at the UN General Assembly in November.”

It quotes union leader Zakarneh as saying “How can the world agree to this policy of collective punishment when our only crime was heading to the United Nations?” but continued with a direct attack on the employer, saying that “our government did not plan for this rainy day, and we think that it has not found any way to deal with this crisis.”

According to British union UNISON, the Palestinian union is a member of Public Services International, though it does not appear on the global union’s website nor is their any coverage of this dispute on the PSI site.