Palestinian workers in Mishor Adumim unionize with WAC, strike for collective agreement

Last summer, the workers unionized with WAC MAAN, which tried to bargain in their name towards a collective agreement. After the management refused to enter negotiations, a labor dispute was declared in August. In an apparent attempt to avoid a strike, owner and manager Mr. Ariel Nahum agreed to negotiate: the first meeting was held in September and a second in November.

 

NA Metal Industries fails to give its workers wage slips, do not pay them overtime or contribute to pension plans. Some are paid less than the minimum wage.

Since Tuesday, December 18th, workers in NA Metal Industries Ltd are on strike for their basic rights and for a collective agreement. For years they have been employed by this successful firm which includes the Jerusalem City Hall among its clients. But the firm refuses to acknowledge that its Palestinian workers, who have been central to its success, are entitled to basic rights.

Some workers are paid less than the minimum wage. These workers toil for ten hours a day, but are paid for only eight. None of the Palestinian workers there have pension plans, which goes against the extension order concerning pensions in industry. In addition, workers receive wage slips only once every few months.

Last summer, the workers unionized with WAC MAAN, which tried to bargain in their name towards a collective agreement. After the management refused to enter negotiations, a labor dispute was declared in August. In an apparent attempt to avoid a strike, owner and manager Mr. Ariel Nahum agreed to negotiate: the first meeting was held in September and a second in November.

However, these two meeting did not bear fruits. Since November the firm has cut off all communications with WAC, reneged on its commitments, and avoided scheduling a further meeting. The firm’s behavior leaves no doubt that it is not interested in a collective agreement, or even in correcting the injustices borne by its workers. This was the background to the strike that started on December 18th and would continue until Sunday December 23rd.

In February 2017, WAC signed a collective agreement with the Zarfati Garage, also in Mishor Adumim. This agreement which was the first for Palestinian workers working in the Settlements, determined wages and employment terms, as well as back pay for the employer’s debts to the workers. NA Metal Industries should not take the law into its own hands. The law requires that it does what Zarfati Garage did, and reach an agreement with WAC about wages and pay owed to its workers from previous years.

As long as it refuses to do it, WAC and the workers will continue to fight. The three-day strike was just a warning. The workers are determined to put an end to the contempt they have suffered for years, and reach a collective agreement.

 

אודות Wac-Maan