Higher salaries, legal protections and lack of discrimination said to be among the reasons most Palestinians would prefer to work for Israeli firms.
(February 16, 2020 / PMW) The United Nations “blacklist” of businesses operating in Israeli settlements was lauded by the Palestinian leadership following its publication last week, but a recent report indicates that Palestinians actually prefer to work for Israelis rather than Palestinians.
Titled, “Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers,” the report, by Israel-based media watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, affirms that whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to leave their jobs with Palestinian employers. The report cites an article in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida which praises the Israeli employment sector.
According to senior PMW analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik, who co-authored the report with PMW director Itamar Marcus, there are a number of reasons Palestinians prefer Israeli employers.
“First, the salary from Israeli employers is more than double that of the Palestinian sector, but that is not all. Palestinians working for Israelis are protected by the same laws as Israeli workers, including health benefits, sick leave, vacation time and other workers’ rights, whereas these protections are not granted by Palestinian employers. Also there is no gender or religious discrimination in the Israeli sector.
Speaking on the official P.A. TV show “Workers Affairs,” Israeli Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi, of the Israeli NGO Workers’ Hotline, said Israeli labor law is “very good” because it does not differentiate between men and women, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews. However, he explained, “Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian middlemen ‘steal’ 50 percent, 60 percent and even 70 percent of their salaries, especially those of women.”
The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent for years according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Survey for the second quarter of 2018 showed that the average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was NIS 107.9 ($31.5) compared with NIS 62.6 (18.3) in Gaza Strip. The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached NIS 247.9 ($72.3) in the second quarter of 2018, compared with NIS 242.5 ($70.8) in the first quarter of 2018.