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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

UNRWA workers in Gaza on strike

UNRWA workers belonging to the "Union of Arab Employees" in Gaza re now on strike.

Schools, clinics and medical facilities are shut down.

Ma'an reports:
An estimated 11,500 employees of UNRWA's Gaza Strip sub-offices went on strike Wednesday morning, protesting the dismissal of a group of workers, and demanding permanent contracts for staff.

Certain employees of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, currently renew a one-year contract annually, and when a group of workers lost their jobs at the end of their contract, union officials threatened to strike.

The union called the strike for Wednesday, pulling teachers, doctors, maintenance staff, and security personnel from their posts, and keeping an estimated 220,000 students out of class.

Firas Press adds that the issues also include lack of respect for the "Palestinian judiciary" (this must mean Hamas courts, as the strike is in Gaza) and - if I am reading it right - workers being upset over the possibility of teaching about the Holocaust in UNRWA schools.