First-ever Workers Rights and Information Seminar for Palestinian Workers in the Hotel Sector in Israel

Apr 26, 2022

The Histadrut Hotels Union, the Histadrut’s International Relations Division, and the Israel Hotels Association held a seminar on workers’ rights and information for Palestinian workers employed in the hotels’ sector in the Dead Sea area. The first of its kind, the conference was attended by about 80 Palestinian workers employed in hotels in the area. During the seminar, the workers heard in Arabic about the Histadrut’s activities, workers’ rights, the sectorial collective agreement, working hours, vacation days, interpretation and explanation of the wage slip, the need to avoid the use of permit brokers, and the activities of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories for workers and addressing movement issues.  

Avital Shapira, Director of International Relations at the Histadrut and a member of the IUF leadership, opened the seminar with congratulations to the employees and said: “The Histadrut, together with the IUF, works to expand your knowledge of the rights you are entitled to. We will continue to hold such seminars in other hotels as well. Palestinian workers in hotels in Israel serve as a bridge to peace and coexistence between peoples.” 

Peter Lerner and Avital Shapira addressing the workers

The chairman of the Hotel Workers’ Union, Freddy Cohen, and the director of a national division of hotel workers, Shlomo Flor, welcomed the conference attendees, presented the collective agreement in detail, and answered questions from workers who exercised their rights.

Assistant Secretary-General of the IUF, James Ritchie, came to Israel especially to participate in the seminar: “This is a very important event. I congratulate the Histadrut on holding the seminar. This seminar is the best expression of the exercise of equal rights at work. It is important to create standards for fair, rewarding, safe, and healthy employment. A successful hotel will always have quality jobs.” 

Yoav Bachar, VP of Human Resources at the Hotels Association: “The association is pleased to have this day for the benefit of the employees. We are happy to integrate Palestinian workers into the hotel market in Israel. The workers are the human capital. They are the investment and not the expense. The workers’ livelihood and working conditions must be taken care of. ”   

Peter Lerner, Director General of the International Relations Division: “This seminar was held because the Histadrut promotes three main values: Partnerships – The world of work is a world of partnerships. The employee and the employer are partners in the business’s success, and healthy symbiosis is healthy for everyone. Workers’ organizations, employers’ organizations, and the government are social partners, as they all have an interest in preserving workers’ rights, promoting productivity at work, filling employment places, and maintaining partnerships with Palestinian neighbors; Knowledge is power – an employee who received a rights pamphlet in Arabic is a stronger employee and what he does not know or is not clear to him, will always be answered through the Histadrut’s information center; Employees, not slaves – every employee deserves the right to earn a decent living, support his family and earn a fair wage for his work.”

The seminar was also attended by Anat Twito, Director of the Service Division for Employers at the Immigration and Population Authority, and Major Inbal Maman, Head of the Civil Coordination Section of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

Freddy Cohen addressing the participants

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