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First minimum wage for Palestinian employees approved

Oct. 7, 2012 5:37 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2012 8:16 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- A national committee headed by Palestinian Authority labor minister Ahmad Majdalani announced Sunday that the first minimum wage for Palestinian employees has been approved.

Thirteen out of fifteen committee members signed a minimum wage document setting the figure at 1,450 shekels ($375) per month.

The group was composed of government, private sector and union representatives.

One group, the General Federation of Trade Unions, boycotted the meeting in protest because they "came under pressure to make them agree on a minimum wage which is below the extreme poverty line."

"This group has been struggling for decades to have a minimum wage, and we should dignify them rather than denying them adequate rights," the group said.

The national committee for wages had agreed that minimum wages should guarantee decent living conditions for workers and their families without causing a negative impact on the economic development of private sector institutions.

Data compiled by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has been taken into account, as well as international standards, Majdalani said.

The minister of national economy, Jawad al-Naji, said in September that the PA would enact a law setting a minimum wage for workers in both the public and private sectors.

The announcement was one of several measures announced by the PA following a wave of demonstrations across the West Bank protesting the rising cost of living.
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