Public Employees Start Two-Day Work Strike



On Wednesday 16th January, the Palestinian Authority's West Bank employees, including public school teachers, began Wednesday a two-day work strike to protest government failure to pay the remaining of their November salary and the December salary.

The Union of Public Employees and the Union of Public School Teachers decided on the work strike as a step that could be further escalated if the government does not pay the salary by next week.

The unions said they cannot ask employees who do not have the money to pay for transportation from their home to work to come to work under such conditions.

Union representatives said the government may pay part of the December salary either on Thursday or Sunday, but there was nothing definite.

The government used to pay the salary from around $100 million it collects every month in taxes and customs on goods imported through Israel by Palestinian businesses. Israel collects the money at its ports and normally transfers it every month to the Palestinian Authority.

However, Israel has reneged on an agreement to transfer this amount from the last two months to punish the Palestinian Authority for asking to become a non-member observer state at the United Nations.

It instead paid the money to Israeli companies to cover outstanding debt by the PA, a step the Palestinians saw as another Israeli breach of signed agreements.

The Arabs had also promised the Palestinians to make up for the money Israel was expected to freeze but they also have not yet met their promise putting the Palestinian Authority in a very serious financial crunch.

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