Palestinian workers will go on strike at Mishor Adumim in the West Bank

On Sunday, December 5, a strike will begin at the Ta’aman food factory. The strikers joined the MAAN-Workers Association in October, demanding better wages and conditions. They seek recognition of their right to unionize and negotiate a collective agreement.

The company refused to recognize the union and used different tactics to stop the workers in their quest for union representation.

Palestinian workers in the food factory of Ta’aman in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone (Area C) will begin a strike on Sunday December 5, 2021. They are demanding that the company recognize their right to organize and negotiate a collective agreement.

Ta’aman is a very profitable company. It has established its plant in Mishor Adumim in 1995 and recently expanded it to include a 12,000 square meters modern logistical center. According to its website the company distributes its products in 1500 shops in Israel and exports them to 30 countries. In 2000 the owners started a subsidiary that invests in real estate and in 2020 they joined the supermarket Mogul Rami Levi to purchase 51% stake in Israir Airlines.

The company’s success did not result in any progress in the salaries and social benefits of the production workers who are all Palestinians. Most of them work the minimum wage and never received a raise even on achieving professional positions and after years of seniority (some employed there for more than a decade). The company did not open for them a pension fund and they also point out to many problems in holiday and vacation pay.

Last October all of the production workers joined MAAN to fight for their rights. Although MAAN declared itself to be the representative union on October 17, 2021, the company refuses to acknowledge this, claiming that the 27 workers who joined MAAN do not constitute the third of the total number of employees required by law.

However, with the help of the workers, MAAN has conducted a careful count and concluded that it has the required third. The union is confident that the claim of the company is false and aims at preventing the workers to organize.

In light of the company’s attempt to postpone recognition and its refusal to provide details on the number of employees, MAAN has decided to declare a labor dispute and a strike. On November 18, an official notice was sent to the Commissioner for Labor Relations at the Ministry of Labor as well as to the company management. At the end of the 15-day cooling-off period required by law, a strike will begin on Sunday, December 5.

MAAN is represented in this struggle by Attorney Irit Ullman of the Labor Law Clinic at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law, in collaboration with Attorney Aya Bartenstein, MAAN’s Legal Adviser.

MAAN has initiated a solidarity meeting with the striking workers to be held on Monday, December 6, at 10:30.

To join the meeting and for more details: please contact Yoav Gal Tamir, Spokesman, 050-7859475.

אודות Wac-Maan