Since March, 17 employees∙es of Jacir Palace, a luxury hotel in Bethlehem located next to a refugee∙es camp, have been on strike. The hotel is part of the Padico holding company, chaired by Bashar Al Masri, the biggest fortune in Palestine.
In March, the boss announced that he was terminating their employment contracts, without compensation, by applying the emergency law related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Palestinian law is very unfavourable to employees∙es but still provides for compensation based on the number of years worked. Some of the employees had been working in the hotel for several decades, and had protected it during the 2nd intifada from tear gas and destruction.
The strike is supported by the popular committee and the youth centre of Aida, who have been doing remarkable work for the residents for the past 2 years ; they have set up a small self-managed hospital to treat the patients of Covid-19. A court is due to hear the case in September. The member organisations of the International Labor Network of Solidarity and Struggle support the demands of the strikers to return to work or to obtain compensation for unfair dismissal.