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Union chief warns of possible strike over salaries

July 17, 2011 3:24 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2011 10:12 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The head of the civil servants union warned Sunday that government employees could go on strike if the Palestinian Authority fails to clarify the status of their salaries and other issues.

Bassam Zakarna said the union gave the government one month to resolve the issue after President Mahmoud Abbas intervened. Employees could go on strike once that period comes to an end on July 26, he said.

PA staff are receiving half salaries as donors continue to deliver less than pledged.

The leadership in Ramallah has called upon donor countries, namely Arab countries, to channel financial aid to the PA as quickly as possible to enable it adhere to its commitments to toward the workforce.

Zakarna called on the government to find actual solutions for workers who received half their salaries this month. He appealed to banks to pay the other half two workers before July 20, excluding benefits.

"During past strikes, the government responded: 'Not working will lead to not getting paid,'" Zaharnah said, adding, "And what do they say now that the government doesn't pay for the work that's being done?"

He added: "That is a direct question that the government must answer."
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