Amad/Ramallah: A group of union representatives emphasized the need to increase union membership and rectify the legal status of unions, while preserving their independence from politicization attempts.
This came during a three-day seminar organized by the Center for Democracy and Workers’ Rights in Qalqilya, Jenin, and Ramallah last week. The seminar was attended by unionists and workers from various sectors, including kindergarten, secretarial work, public services, sewing, the union of psychologists and social workers, translation sector, girls’ rehabilitation center, women’s civil society associations, media workers, Ministry of Social Development and Private Education, care for the deaf sector, legal profession, municipality workers, and workers in the food and agricultural industries.
The seminar held in Qalqilya focused on the topic of work-life balance, which, according to the United Nations, refers to a set of different work arrangements aimed at achieving a balanced work environment characterized by flexibility to create the optimal balance between professional and personal life. It also contributes to increasing organizational efficiency and clarifying the extent to which the work environment, conditions, and working hours affect the ability of workers to engage in social and family activities. The importance of creating a work environment that suits the workers was discussed, as it positively affects the mental and physical well-being of workers and enables them to engage in all aspects of life. The roles and responsibilities of the state and employers in providing benefits and facilities to make the work environment flexible were also highlighted, such as maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks, paid leave, and providing services that alleviate the burden on workers, enabling them to perform their work correctly, which benefits all parties involved.
In Jenin and Ramallah, the seminar focused on union management skills and the role of its representatives. The concept of unions and trade union work was introduced, along with the purpose of establishing unions, and the roles of key members of the administrative body, including the president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. The fundamentals of trade union work were emphasized, including democracy, independence, and accountability.