International Labor Day

The masses of our people.. Our workers and female workers..

Our peasants and female peasants who are victims to national and class persecution.

May 1st this year passes on us while our people write epics of pride and heroism in the squares of Jerusalem and Jenin and all West Bank cities. These peoples who refuse to bow down to prove to tyrants that the seekers of bread before dawn every morning through the barriers of death and humiliation are the elite of the homeland and resistance. We believe that all attempts to impoverish and shackle our people will not make our great people slaves to circumstances.

May 1st passes and our workers continue to be subjected to widespread violations, including low wages, long-time work, denial of social and health insurance and denial of official and annual leave guaranteed by law. Our employees in some government sectors have been demanding their trade union and rights for years without serious attention to these demands. These violations are due to the complex composition of the colonial entity that occupies our land and eliminates all forms of social and economic development. The policies of the Palestinian Authority, which so far have made no significant effort to improve the living conditions of our people, particularly through recent statements where the Authority has declared its refusal to transfer the financial dues of families registered in social affairs. All the while, we are globally confronting the privatization policy that has eliminated all sectors of social protection, coupled with strengthening international monopolies through multinational corporations, which have controlled natural and human resources in most regions of the world. It is the alliance between the capitalists, the ruling political bureaucracy and the conservative and reactionary forces which reduces the value of human life and turns it into a machine of work and consumption, allowed to work for a daily wage, and in order to get it, a worker must be satisfied with the living conditions of slaves. Within this alliance, unfortunately, we see the impotence and complicity of many trade union bodies, which are supposed to defend the inherent rights of the working class and stand in the face of the authorities that exploit workers; but in many countries and squares have become part of the system of government or plays the role of mediator between workers and those who exploit them. The exploitation of workers is certainly linked to the colonial form of capitalism, which is reflected in the direct and indirect military occupation, and at the forefront of these forms, the decades-old colonization of our Palestinian people.

This global exposure underscores the right of the working class to fight and the universal struggle of women and social movements for full equality in order to overthrow neoliberal policies, calling for a society where equality and social justice are prevalent. This calls for strengthening the struggle of the working class and organizing its ranks on revolutionary foundations that do not bargain with exploited classes and forces.

We in The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and in light of everything our workers and female workers are going through, emphasize and call for:

1.            The need to achieve national unity in the face of the occupation’s plans in order to achieve the national goals of the Palestinian people.

2.            The necessary legal amendments to laws relating to work, primarily Palestinian labor law, should be made to ensure equality and non-discrimination.

3.            The need to build a national economic plan based on supporting the national productive economy, to devote self-reliance and eliminate the economic dependency on the occupation, as well as stopping policies that would impoverish the poor and enrich the rich under the slogans of encouraging investment. Those who earn more must pay more.

4. It is also necessary to stop any decisions or policies that serve the benefit of senior officials.

5. The Palestinian people’s funds, whether pirated by the occupation, looted by corruption or wrong decisions, should be recovered and used in favor of strengthening the resilience of the Palestinian people.

6. Strongly address the decisions and policies of official bodies, whether in the West Bank or Gaza, which are burdening the difficult living conditions of poor and crushed social classes and segments, especially the working class, and in various sectors of work. This requires stopping the privatization of basic services, and obliging capital and employers to provide basic rights to workers.

7. The need to support our people, working-class people in particular, in refugee camps through the role assigned to Palestinian institutions; In the forefront, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which must reform and restructure their institutions on national and democratic grounds. In addition, it is required of countries hosting Palestinian refugees to lift restrictive measures on their right to work in various professions and areas available within those states.

We in the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees know very well that these demands will not bear fruit and that change will not come without unitedly revolting  in Palestine and the world in the face of all forms of oppression.

The wrath of hunger is inevitably coming, and we all need to stand hand in hand against all the exclusionary imperialist policies and everything they represent in Palestine and the world.

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