WAC – Workers Advice Center
Nazareth – 972-6-6462156 Fax 972-6-6462152
Mobil: 972-51-596492 (Wehbe)  972-50-586198 (Assaf)
Urgent Press Release Friday 5.5.00  09.30

Palestinian Authority Detains Teachers’ Union Leader in Ramalla (West Bank)

Please pass this info. to Teachers Unions for immediate Action

Palestinian Authority security forces detained this night Omar Assaf a leader of the Palestinian Teachers Higher Coordinating Committee (HCC) in the West Bank. According to sources in the HCC Palestinian security forces came to unionist home on 01.00 and asked Omar to come with them. When he refused they showed him a paper of arrest. The arrest of Mr. Assaf comes on the background of the stalemate in the negotiations with the teachers HCC who represent tens of thousands Government schools teachers in the West Bank who are under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and get their wages from it.

In Feb. 2000 the HCC – an independent union initiative – started a partial strike actions to protest the low wages of teachers and the long delay in passing the “Civil Service” legislation by the PA. After two month PA Chairman Arafat promised them to study their demands positively and on April 3rd the HCC decided to suspend its struggle until the end of April.

On April 30th a meeting of the HCC in Ramalla decided to renew the strike action after it became clear that there was no response to their demands. A general strike of all teachers took place on Monday May 1st.

The PA reacted by the arrest of the HCC leader and the teachers assume that more arrests are on the way as the PA is not ready to allow any independent social force.

It is urgently needed that Teachers Unions involve in this fight and make their voices heard.

Messages of protest should be sent to
PA Chairman Yasser Arafat
Fax: 972-7-2822365
Ministry of Education

Send Copies to WAC (Nazareth): Fax: 972-6-6462156

LabourNet Germany: http://www.labournet.de/
Der virtuelle Treffpunkt der Gewerkschafts- und Betriebslinken
The virtual meeting place of the left in the unions and in the workplace