Seven medical workers residing in the Gaza Strip, have been arbitrarily laid off after being denied transport permits which they need to reach their workplace in Jerusalem. This occurred after the occupation authorities decided to impose an Israeli travel ban on workers from Gaza, preventing them from reaching their workplace in Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem. They were dismissed by the hospital.
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The workers that were laid off had been working in Makassed Hospital for at least 30 years, their ages range between 50-55 years old, which constitutes a major obstacle in finding another job. When dismissed these workers lose the benefit of the health and social security system and will be withdrawn from the National social security funds without any pension. In the light of the economic crisis and the high unemployment rate in Palestine in general, and in Gaza in particular, the dismissal is considered as being an end to their professional lives. This will affect their wellbeing and that of their families.
Many workers in Jerusalem live in other governorates in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and are subject to continuous control to access their workplace. PSI’s Palestinian affiliate, the General Trade Union of Health Services Workers (GUHSW), fears that this case might set a precedent for authorities to continue targeting workers and blackmailing them at the check points.
“It is our responsibility as trade unions to put pressure on the administration to ensure job stability for our workers,” explains Salama Abu Zaiter, President of GUHSW.
PSI joins the GUHSW and calls on its affiliates and allies to support these workers in their struggle to maintain their jobs and to oppose security blackmail by the occupation. We call on the hospital administration to retract its unjust decision of dismissal and to reinstate these workers who have spent their lives providing essential health services to their communities. PSI calls on the respect of ILO conventions including Convention No. 158 and Recommendation No. 166 concerning termination of employment.
Stand in solidarity with Palestinian medical workers!