MAAN’s field report on the Atarot industrial zone in Jerusalem has now appeared: “Palestinian workers demand their rights and unionize.”

Atarot Industrial Zone is a microcosm for the situation of the 150,000 Palestinians employed in both Israel and the settlements.

The report’s aim is to update information on the challenges faced by residents of the Palestinian Authority who work in territory annexed by Israel, where Israeli labor law applies, and to present directions for action.

The new report includes an up-to-date description of the structural difficulties facing Palestinian workers, and evaluates a reform which was announced in the permit system in 2019 but never implemented.

The report documents MAAN’s successful struggle to cancel the deduction of service fees from the wages of Palestinians employed in Israel, a practice that formerly moved millions of shekels into the coffers of the Histadrut in ways that were illegal.

MAAN’s General Director Assaf Adiv authored the report, together with Muhannad Anati who interviewed the employees.

Atarot is the largest traditional industrial zone in Jerusalem. It currently houses 160 factories and is in a boom of expansion. The area employs 3,600 people, most of them residents of the Palestinian Authority who cross through the nearby Qalandiya checkpoint day after day on their way to and from work.

By concentrating thousands of workers in factories, which often require skilled labor and stability, Israel has unintentionally created a permanent workforce with significant bargaining power, hence with the possibility of unionizing.

MAAN promotes equal participation in its ranks regardless of identity and national or religious affiliation. In Atarot, it has so far unionized three factories. In one of them, Rajwan Foods, a groundbreaking collective agreement was achieved in March 2021.

In the report, MAAN presents two practical ideas that can be implemented at once. One is a model for changing the permit regime, and the other is unionization.

The current report offers data that has never before been collected and presented, hence its importance and uniqueness. 

Click here for the full report (PDF)


The East Jerusalem Project

Significant Achievements of MAAN – Workers Association in Protecting Workers’ Rights

Since the outbreak of the war, MAAN – Workers Association has secured the labor rights, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, and support for work accidents for over 300 residents of East Jerusalem. This includes opening checkpoints and distributing food vouchers, translating to over 3 million NIS in benefits. Notably, over 40% of those who received assistance are women.

Palestinian Workers

The government’s decision to massively import overseas workers is social lawlessness, a disaster for both the economy and security. It must be revoked and Palestinians must be allowed to return to their jobs in Israel

Wednesday, May 15, the Israeli government approved a structural reform on employment of migrant workers where it allowed a ceiling of 330,000 overseas workers in the Israeli job market. MAAN sees this decision as a step that defies all economic logic, contradicts labor market planning, and opens the way to a dangerous expansion of human trafficking for labor purposes in Israel. In addition, the decision reflects complete disregard for the consequences of the continued halt in employment of Palestinians.

The East Jerusalem Project

Severe employment crisis in East Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan

On the eve of Ramadan, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are facing an economic and social crisis exacerbated by a 7.6 per cent increase in unemployment since the outbreak of the war. Despite the crisis, the government is severely undermining its own five-year plan for East Jerusalem. MAAN Workers Association (hence MAAN) calls on the mayor and the incoming city council to secure budgets to reduce socio-economic gaps in the city.

Palestinian Workers

MAAN and Kav Laoved write to Immigration and Population Authority and demand to reserve a place in the quota for Palestinian workers with a permit who resigned/fired during the “Iron Swords” war

The two workers’ rights groups wrote on Feb. 13 to Mr. Moshe Nakash the head of the Immigration and Population Authority and demanded that special measures will be taken to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian workers and also to enable Israeli employers to overcome the crisis and keep their experienced workers.


אנא כתבו את שמכם המלא, טלפון ותיאור קצר של נושא הפנייה, ונציג\ה של מען יחזרו אליכם בהקדם האפשרי.

رجاءً اكتبوا اسمكم الكامل، الهاتف، ووصف قصير حول موضوع توجهكم، ومندوب عن نقابة معًا سيعاود الاتصال بكم لاحقًا

As an organization committed to the rights of workers without distinction of religion, race, nationality, gender, or profession - democracy is our essence. We strongly oppose the authoritarian laws that the extreme government of Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Smotrich is attempting to impose.

Without democracy, there are no workers' rights, just as a workers' organization cannot exist under dictatorship.

only a victory of the democratic camp will enable a discussion on the Palestinian issue and lead to an alternative solution to occupation and apartheid while ensuring human rights and citizenship for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike. As long as the apartheid regime persists, the democratic camp will not succeed in defeating Israeli extremists. Therefore, we work to involve the Arab and Palestinian society in the protest.

We invite you:

To march with us in protests and to build an alternative, democratic, Jewish-Arab professional union in Israel. Join our quiet WhatsApp group today, "Marching with us in protest."

To join MAAN and unite workers in your workplace. Read here how to join the organization.

To follow MAAN's work on social networks.

Please write your full name, phone number, and a brief description of the subject of your inquiry, and a representative from our organization will get back to you as soon as possible.