Zarfati garage flings false security accusations against Workers’ Committee chairperson

<p>The Jerusalem Labor Court heard yesterday (July 27) WAC-Maan’s case against the Zarfati garage in the occupied West Bank. The garage recently fired the Workers’ Committee chairperson, Hatam Abu Ziyada.</p>

The Jerusalem Labor Court heard yesterday (July 27) WAC-Maan’s case against the Zarfati garage in the occupied West Bank. The garage recently fired the Workers’ Committee chairperson, Hatam Abu Ziyada. During the proceeding, the employer raised a new and false claim against Abu Ziyada, saying there was a security order preventing him from working at the garage (which handles IDF vehicles among others). This is the first time the claim has been made. Earlier, in the letter that summoned Abu Ziyada to a hearing preceding his dismissal, the employer had said (July 21) that the cause for dismissal was “reorganization of the garage and Abu Ziyada’s unsuitability for the job.” In a second letter, sent by the Zarfati attorney after the strike began (July 22), the employer claimed that the cause was lateness and other misdemeanors. The new third version, citing a “security risk,” appeared out of the blue in court (July 27). During the hearing, however, the garage management admitted that it had no security order against the Abu Ziadeh, saying that it intends to verify with the defense authorities whether such an order exists.

The garage also tried to ascribe political activities to Abu Ziyada, claiming he had taken part in demonstrations. These accusations are based solely on his participation in the peaceful Labor Day event organized by WAC MAAN at Tel Aviv’s Bialik Square on May 1 2014, during which well-known labour representatives and artists spoke.

The independent trade union center WAC-MAAN takes a grave view of the use of fabricated security excuses. They are part of the employer’s efforts to combat the workers’ organizing, and especially Abu Ziyada’s, by cynically exploiting the current conflict in Gaza.

In the framework of the procedural agreement reached during the court hearing today, the sides reached an agreement that was granted the status of a court ruling: The garage is to inform the court within three days as to whether there is a security order preventing the continued employment of Abu Ziyada. There was also agreement on arrangements for continuing negotiations between the two sides under the watchful eye of the court. It was further agreed that in case there was no security order against Abu Ziyada, he would appear for a hearing at the garage no later than Sunday, August 3.


Hatam abu Ziyada is accused by Zarfati for participating and speaking at a May Day rally organized by Wac-Maan in Tel Aviv.

It will be recalled that WAC-MAAN and the Palestinian workers at the Zarfati Garage in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone called a strike following management’s attempts to prevent them from organizing, which reached a peak when Abu Ziyada, Chairperson of the Workers Committee, was dismissed. The workers, organized with WAC-MAAN, began the strike on Tuesday, July 22. Since then, the garage has tried to break the organizing initiative in various ways, including hiring replacement workers. WAC-MAAN staff members have also received threats from the Mishor Adumim industrialists’ union via the Maale Adumim police, which detained them for questioning.

The workers organized with WAC-MAAN are determined to defend themselves and stop the witch-hunt. They will continue their struggle until all the fabricated accusations are withdrawn and a collective agreement is signed.

In the attached photo: Hatam Abu Ziyada, second from left, with WAC staff, today at the court.

For further details and the court’s decision: Michal Schwartz, +972-50-4330067



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