Salit Quarry Workers make History: Workers Committee Elected after 25 Years

A two-year struggle waged by 45 Salit Quarry workers came to an end on October 13 with the elections for a workers committee, the first in 25 years. The quarry […]

A two-year struggle waged by 45 Salit Quarry workers came to an end on October 13 with the elections for a workers committee, the first in 25 years. The quarry management recognized the Workers Advice Center (WAC) as the trade union, as well as the elected committee as representative of the entire quarry workforce.

Musa Arara, Harun Hassan, Hassan Abu Aseb, Muhammed Fukra and Niaz Kadadha

The election committee, nominated during a general assembly ten days beforehand, oversaw the process of putting forward candidates and the elections themselves. As the voting began, election committee member Musabah el-Ba’id explained the process of candidate approval and went over the principles laid down in the protocols, calling on the workers to vote fairly and in good faith.
The atmosphere was festive as the voting took place. As the ballot was declared open, cakes and drinks were laid out, brought from Jerusalem and paid for by money collected from the workers. The names of the workers elected were greeted with cheers.
After the election committee had checked the voting forms, it approved the results in front of all workers. The following workers were elected: Musa Arara, Harun Hassan, Hassan Abu Aseb, Muhammed Fukra and Niaz Kadadha. These five represent all the quarry branches – the quarry itself, the garage, drivers and asphalt workers, with one representative for every ten workers. The workers, some of whom have been employed at the quarry since it opened 25 years ago, feel the election of a workers committee is a major step towards management recognition of their full rights.
Negotiations are expected to begin soon between the committee, WAC representatives and the quarry management, aiming to reach a collective agreement to advance improved working conditions at the site. Some important issues are on the agenda: wages, safety conditions, pension payments, the formulation of a mechanism to regulate problems and dismissals, and compensation, to name just a few.
The election process at Salit Quarry was overseen by WAC national coordinator Assaf Adiv, Muhammed Abu Hadir and Erez Wagner, who together head the WAC office in Jerusalem. This office will maintain direct contact with the Salit workers and closely follow developments at the site.
WAC sees these elections as an important step towards achieving a collective agreement. A collective agreement will improve working conditions, benefit the workers and regulate relations with the management, creating stability and a positive atmosphere at the Quarry.

אודות Assaf Adiv