Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Win in the Fight to Defend Arab Rail Workers in Israel

Regular readers will know about the campaign to stop Israel Railways discriminating against Arab workers. Here is the latest from the campaign ... and it's good news!

09/09/2009 17:04:00
CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Arab railway workers keep guarding Israels level crossings!

Tel Aviv Labour Court issues interim injunction against firing Arab employees of Israel Railways

Today is a day of great success for the Arab railway workers struggle. This morning, Tel Aviv Labour Court ruled that until a final court decision, Israel Railways cannot lay off any Arab railway crossing guard as a consequence of its new employment policy.

Though only an interim injunction and not a final decision, the ruling is extremely important. First of all, the court ruled that military service as an employment condition discriminates against Arab workers. It further noted that there is no relation between the employment conditions required by Israel Railways and the qualifications needed for a job as railway crossing guard. It specifically stated that military service is not a relevant requirement for such a job. Finally, the judge addressed another crucial aspect namely the alternative criteria (1) proposed by Israel Railways - and ruled that also the new employment conditions are discriminatory because they automatically qualify anyone who served in the army and have virtually the same effect as the original policy.

The workers and their lawyers from Sawt el-Amel, Adalah The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Tel Aviv University Law Clinics are very pleased with todays ruling.

The struggle continues.

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