WAC Wins $180,000 for 24 workers
After five years of persistent effort, WAC (the Workers Advice Center) has gained $180,000 for 24 female workers from Bir al-Maksur, a village in Galilee. In 1996 the owner shut down the textile factory where they worked, paying neither their last month's salary nor compensation. The workers approached the local representative of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor), but to no avail. WAC then organized a vigil of the workers in front of their factory. At the same time it sued the owner in the Court of Labor. After determining that he was penniless, WAC set in motion a process resulting in a declaration of bankruptcy. This declaration enabled WAC to secure the money from the National Insurance Institute.
The Union of Working Youth marks a year of activity
On October 20, the Union of Working Youth celebrated the completion of its first year. It consists of youngsters who meet weekly at the Baqa centers, engaging in social and cultural programs. These include discussions, art, field trips and voluntary work in the community. The activities reach their peak at an annual summer camp, where a central theme connects the youth to international progressive movements. Whereas other youth movements in the Arab sector separate the sexes, the Union includes both. Dani Ben Simhon, its national coordinator, told Challenge: "We lay great stress on voluntary work because it influences young people to take responsibility for their society. We are open to anyone who wants to participate in building a new society based on equality. We preach individual progress through the progress of society as a whole. We do not wish to leave anyone behind!"