On Sep 22, WAC-MAAN announced a labor dispute at the manufacturing company “Yehuda Fencing” in Ashdod. This came after we organized the workers there, registering 108 out of 140. These workers have been employed for many years at low wages, without any promotion ladder or remuneration for seniority or professional skills. They asked us for assistance. On 17 August, WAC-MAAN declared its representative status at the plant and met with some 50 workers. At the same time, a committee was set up to lead the organizing drive. Most of the workers are Jewish and come from the Ashdod area; some of these are Ethiopian or Russian in origin. There are some Arab workers from the Bedouin villages.
At the present political atmosphere, it is not a trivial matter for these workers to unionize with WAC-MAAN. According to some, the management is warning that their union dues would be used to finance terror activities, because WAC-MAAN is a “union of Arabs.” This line of accusations is not new. We make no secret to the workers that WAC-MAAN seeks to build peace between Arabs and Jews, and that our opposition to racism and discrimination is based on principles we hold high.