Union official in the Gaza Strip, Sami Al-Amsi, revealed today, Monday, that the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip has reached unprecedented levels of 82%, after it recorded an additional 17% for the previous 65% before the Coronavirus crisis.
Al-Amsi said in a press statement, that the blockade and the Coronavirus crisis are increasing the numbers of this segment most affected, indicating that there are 160,000 affected directly and indirectly, while there is a fluctuation in the work of tens of thousands of workers between the penal return to work or temporary disruption. Or permanent as a result of pandemic conditions and the inability of hundreds of factories, companies, workshops and commercial centers to operate normally.
He pointed out that the Corona crisis cast a shadow on the work sector and hit various sectors, which caused thousands of workers to be laid off.
Al-Amsi said: “The danger of widespread unemployment among workers is no less than the danger of the outbreak of the virus, because this deprives thousands of workers from meeting the minimum basic requirements of life, worsens their human and living conditions, and increases poverty and extreme poverty among workers.”
He added, “Workers today are competing to work long hours and for low wages, in which employers exploit them in order to support their families, while working hours often range between 10-13 hours a day, and wages are 15-20-35 shekels in the best conditions during Current period.
The union official explained that the crisis deepened the workers’ wounds that were cracked by the continuous Israeli blockade for 15 years, causing the public transport sector to be completely paralyzed, indicating that there are 15-20 thousand drivers working partially or moderately, while the construction sector, which employed 40 thousand A worker is completely suspended, while 8,000 workers have returned to the industrial sector out of 21,000 workers.
He pointed out that 4 thousand fishermen suffer from the daily attacks of the occupation, while the kindergarten workers number 2,800 work, while the tourism sector, which has 5 thousand workers partially, and agricultural workers suffer great losses as a result of the same conditions.
Al-Amsi stressed that what is required is to unify the efforts of various governmental and non-governmental institutions and private initiatives and direct them to improve the lives of workers, calling on government agencies in Gaza, the Legislative Council and the Qatari Committee to allocate financial payments and special grants for workers to provide relief in light of difficult situations.
Al-Amsi warned that the high indicators of unemployment among workers heralds a humanitarian catastrophe, from which it cannot be recovered over many years, except by pumping large operational projects into the labor market, and everyone shouldering their responsibilities.
He pointed out that the only financial payment that was disbursed to the affected people in Gaza did not benefit from only a small segment of workers, whom the Qatari grant helps thousands of of them to improve their conditions, but what is required is to direct special aid and support to the segment of workers from different sectors. like he said.