The Associated Press
April 3, 2008 - 5:28pm

Taking on the Palestinian civil servants' union, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad warned Thursday that he will dock the pay of striking union members.

The union has held repeated warning strikes in recent months, calling for wage increases.

Fayyad said that every strike day would be deducted from the employees' salaries.

According to Fayyad, Palestinian Authority civil servants have received a 27 percent salary increases over the past three years, and the Palestinian Authority cannot afford to pay them more.

Despite this, union chief Jamil Shehadeh says the civil servants will not back down.

In recent years of economic downturn, the Palestinian Authority has become the largest employer in the West Bank and Gaza, and tens of thousands of Palestinians depend on government jobs.


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