Hospital cleaners reject 50-percent pay cut
Published Tuesday 12/03/2013 (updated) 14/03/2013 10:33
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Cleaners at a government hospital in Beit Jala on Tuesday urged their union to intervene and stop a 50 percent reduction to their salaries.
Some 34 cleaners at Beit Jala Governmental Hospital are facing pay cuts, which they said followed a decision by the cleaning company where they are employed.
The company has reduced their monthly salaries from 1,450 shekels ($394) -- the minimum wage for private sector workers in the West Bank -- to 700 shekels, the employees told Ma'an.
A representative of the company told Ma'an some workers were fired for poor performance, and that the pay cuts followed complaints by the hospital's administration.
One cleaner, Umm Ahmad, told Ma'an she was fired for refusing the pay cut.
"I only rejected the reduction in my salary by half. I refuse to be paid 700 shekels and work eight hours a day. That's against the law," she said.
Union official Mahmoud Abu Odeh said cleaning companies were slashing wages across the West Bank.
"I blame the cleaning companies because they use the workers and don't give them their rights. The companies must have a stable salary that guarantees workers' rights," Abu Odeh told Ma'an.
"We will contact the health ministry, and we will go to court because such a decision is so harmful to workers," he added.