Engage: More on Hamas and the Unions

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[The excellent website, Engage, reports on the struggle between the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and Hamas. I wonder if they are aware that the PGFTUs logo absorbs Israel into Palestine? See image below.]
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Since taking power in Gaza, Hamas has been in almost continuous dispute with local trade unionists.

Back in July Hamas seized PGFTU offices and reportedly attempted to assassinate leaders of the union.

In August long-unpaid Gaza municipal workers went on strike which has led to weeks worth of rubbish piling up in the streets and created major public health concerns (it is unclear from the English-language media if this strike is still going on – please comment below if you have any more recent info).

As reported below moves have began in Gaza to dissolve the main journalists union.

And now according to an AP report Hamas has come into conflict with Gazan firefighters and civil defence workers who have gone on strike to protest their taking over its buildings and equipment.

While such disputes are usually presented by the media as a political conflict between Fatah-controlled unions and the Hamas administration, it is in fact difficult to judge what really is happening to the organised labour movement in Gaza – other than that specific unions and their members are definitely being attacked in what appears a systematic campaign to suppress independent (at least of Hamas) workers’ organisations.

[continue reading]

The struggle with Hamas is not mentioned on the News section of the PGFTU website. The most recent article is a condemnation of an IDF attack on their Ramallah branch.

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