UNRWA employees who were to be forced into retirement or see their contracts come to an end this month can continue working in September under the terms of a deal agreed between labor unions and the UN body.
The labor union representing UNRWA employees said today:
“Through the intervention of many mediators … today an agreement was made with the organization’s management on a number of points.”
Hundreds gathered at UNRWA headquarters in Gaza city today to protest the dismissal of 956 employees which is ahead of more arbitrary, unprecedented measures aimed at ending the Palestine refugee issue.#GreatReturnMarch #DignityIsPriceless pic.twitter.com/jng8jSCOrt
— AbdelKarim Alkahlout #Gaza (@KareemN96) July 31, 2018
The statement continued:
“The 116 employees threatened with retirement at the end of August will continue their work as usual during September 2018.”
Workers who were to receive part-time contracts will continue to work full time in September.
During this period further talks will be held to set up permanent solutions for these employees.
— Shehab News (@ShehabAgencyEn) August 6, 2018
The statement concluded:
“We will keep working until we attain the rights of employees. We will take this tour until we reach the rights of employees and we will remain faithful to your just causes.”
UNRWA has faced protests for over a month since it announced its to dismiss 13 percent of its emergency program workers, move 57 percent on to part-time contracts, and the rest on to temporary contracts which end later this year means job insecurity. Around 1,000 employees working in emergency programs are threatened with dismissal by the end of this year.
Thousands in the illegally occupied Gaza Strip protested on Tuesday after UNRWA laid off almost 150 Palestinian workers. The layoffs follow hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts from US aid to UNRWA by the Trump administration: https://t.co/WWL9vzBMLy pic.twitter.com/Fvafkax3mk
— Palestinian Rights (@US_Campaign) July 31, 2018
The UN body has been suffering from a severe budget deficit which has been exacerbated by America’s freeze on aid to Palestine since the start of 2018 when President Donald Trump’s administration declared an internal review of its policy.
WATCH: Gaza's clinics are being forced to shut down, and aid workers laid off, as a result of the Trump administration's decision to cut aid to UNRWA by more than half. 70% of Palestinians living in Gaza alone are refugees due to Israeli policies and mass expulsion. pic.twitter.com/FbVfuNdO0t
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) July 26, 2018
The president also announced that $65 million would be withheld from UNRWA, the UN body that provides education, healthcare, and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and occupied East Jerusalem, as well as those Palestinians living in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)