RMT to protest at Israeli Embassy in support of sacked Arab rail workers

MEMBERS OF Britain’s largest rail union, RMT, will be taking a protest over the dismissal of 40 Israeli Arab rail workers to the steps of the Israeli Embassy at 1pm on Monday 11th May.

The protest will draw attention to the decision of Israel Railways to change its employment terms so that only Israeli army veterans will now be employed as lookouts at level crossings to prevent collisions between trains and vehicles. The current Arab workforce are exempt from national service and as a consequence have now been handed redundancy notices by Israel Railways.

RMT have joined an international campaign to press for the reinstatement of the Arab Israeli rail workers and the protest on Monday, which will be led by RMT general secretary Bob Crow, has written to the Israeli Ambassador asking that he receive a delegation from the protesters to hear the case on behalf of the sacked staff.

“The position of Israel Railways as a government company puts the onus on the Israeli government to avoid national and racial discrimination, given Israel’s status as a binational state and its professed commitment to racial equality,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.

“The decision to make military service, from which Arab citizens are exempt, an employment condition contradicts Israel’s own Employment (Equal Opportunities) Act 1988. That position has been upheld in a number of court decisions, which have judged the employment condition of military service as discrimination based on nationality, and it should now be honoured in the case of the Arab rail workers and their notices of dismissal withdrawn.

“RMT pledges its full solidarity with the Israeli Arab rail workers and we look forward to meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to press their case for the dismissal threat to be dropped.” Bob Crow said.

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