The meeting of workers affiliated to MAAN Workers Association with the Australian trade union delegation at the beginning of August was a good opportunity to present a true picture of the difficult conditions that Palestinian workers live through in their work places in the settlements and inside Israel.
The delegation, which included 8 people from major Australian trade unions and the solidarity organizations with Palestine APHEDA and APAN, listened to a comprehensive report from MAAN’s director Assaf Adiv who spoke on the political and social conditions that arose after the formation of the dangerous fascist government at the beginning of the year. During the lively discussion that took place in the meeting, the participants exchanged views on the democratic protest movement in Israel and on the possibilities for dialogue with it and the development of joint action, especially since MAAN actively participates in it.
Workers organized within the Ma’an union talked about their experiences and emphasized the importance of the union’s role in defending and organizing Palestinian workers who work for Israeli employers. Hatem Abu Ziadeh, a member of the Workers’ Committee in Zarfati Garage in Mishor Edomim Industrial Zone, spoke about the garage workers’ experience in union organization and reaching a collective agreement. Muhammad Kanaan also talked about the Hayy Adam carpentry, where the workers joined the union at the beginning, but it declared bankruptcy, and the union contributed to ensuring that the workers collect compensation from the National Insurance. The worker, Badawi Abu Juwayd, who works inside Israel and follows up on the issue of the trade in permits, presented the delegation with a picture of the current dangerous situation and explained the idea of the green card proposed by MAAN and its importance. Othman Gharbat, who works on Palestinian workers organizing drives presented a picture on the possibilities and difficulties in the effort to organize Palestinian workers.
Before the delegation’s visit to Hizma and its meeting with the workers, we held another meeting with the guests from Australia in MAAM’s office in Jerusalem. The union’s representatives there, including the office manager, Erez Wagner, and colleagues Razan Moshahra, Sarah Ibrahim, Reem Da’doua, and Dana Pomerants, presented an important report on the state of poverty and unemployment suffered by the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and on the tremendous work that the union is doing in order to protect the rights of workers and encourage women to enter the labor market and guarantee their rights .