Haaretz, Jul. 30, 2017
The Mishor Adumim industrial zone in the West Bank. Olivier Fitoussi
The workers have no means of protection. If they’re injured or burned on the job, they have to look after themselves. Their salaries – far below the minimum wage – are paid late, in cash, without a salary slip. The employers deduct 1 percent from their pay, because “that’s the commission for cashing a check.” There is no pension, no sick leave, no vacation, nor are employees supplied with work clothes or shoes. They bring their lunch from home. When the workers organized a shaded corner for half an hour of rest, the foreman tore it down.
Recently, the workers say, they decided to unionize with the aid of WAC-MAAN, the Workers Advice Center, the only labor organization out of four in the country that cares about and deals with Palestinian workers. The real abuse started immediately after the NGO approached the representative of the owner of the shop, attorney Arik Naor. A Palestinian labor contractor arrived at the factory with more men, possessing illegal work permits. The message was clear: Make trouble and you’ll be replaced [....]
Any reasonable person will ask himself why the workers insist on staying there and getting 140 shekels ($39) a day (190 shekels for veteran employees) for 8.5 hours of work in harsh conditions without basic social rights. The reason: In Palestine, they would make even less. A professional metalworker gets 90 shekels ($25) a day in Ramallah, a carpenter even less.