Palestinian workers in 1-day strike at Israeli factory

19/10/2010


TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Palestinian workers went on strike Tuesday at an Israeli factory that has refused to pay them minimum wage.

Seventy-two workers at the Soul Or factory in the Tulkarem district stopped work and demanded that the factory administration implement an Israeli labor law, passed in early 2008, requiring that Palestinians be paid minimum wage.

Muhammad Baleedy, the head of the workers union in the food and agriculture industries, told Ma’an that workers are only demanding the minimum required under Israeli law. He said the factory’s management has responded to the requests by using foul language.

Baleedy also claimed occupational health and safety standards at the factory are almost nonexistent. He said six workers have died either on the job or afterwards due to cancer caused by the improper storage of chemicals. Workers who complain to the media are routinely fired, Baleedy added.

The owner of the factory is reportedly a general in the Israeli military. He moved the facility across the Green Line because the emissions from the factory did not meet Israeli health standards.

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