Launch of Banking Union Campaign in Palestine
Over 20 trade union activists have spent 3 days in Amman, Jordan on intensive Organising Workshops with UNI staff from the SCORE Organising and Finance sectors. Despite attendance difficulties caused by delays at the security checkpoints between Palestine and Jordan, it was an extremely enthusiastic and succesful event. The National Trade Union of Banks and Insurance has produced and agreed its own Organisng campaign plan with the support of UNI Finance and UNI SCORE.
The workshop covered the mapping information, agreed to target certain banks inside the sector as part of a strategy to reach 60% membership from a current level of about 22%. The ultimate aim is to start negotiating improved contracts of employmentfor the workforce. There was much discussion about the obstacles they face and how they intend to overcome them. In an economy where unemployment is 27% (and 34% for women), where businesses and work are detrimentally affected by the Israeli Occupation and where movement is restricted across the West Bank and between Gaza, the obstacles are tremendouos.
Not for this union however. They have a remarkably young and energetic group of activists, with a leadership that recognises the necessity to be truly representative of the workers they seek to organise.
60 % of the activists were young women. This was a success in itself, but the workshop also included a presentation from UNI Equalities on the particualr role of women in the movement and the need to recognise that unions can do more in this respect. The message that `the union must be a safe place for women`and that `the union must give women a voice`was enthusiastically endorsed by the workshop members.
The next stage is for the union to commence its organising work and we wish them good luck.