Histadrut Construction Workers Union: No room for personnel employment corporations for Palestinian workers in the building sector

Sep 06, 2022

In response to the Government of Israel’s call for proposals and positions, the Histadrut construction workers’ union announced that after a thorough review of the proposal to introduce personnel employment corporations, the Union objects to the plan. 

In a detailed appeal to Inbal Mashash, Head of the Foreign Workers Administration of the Population and Immigration Authority, Chairman of the Construction and Associated Industries Union, Yitzhak Moyal, charged that the Government proposal will significantly harm the structure of employment, the rights of workers, their safety and even the efficiency of the activity of the entire industry.

Moyal highlighted that both workers and employer organizations are united on the objection to the Government’s proposal, precisely because they believe it will harm both employers and employees.

From the worker’s perspective, the Union understands that the suggested employment corporations will undermine workers’ rights, explicitly damaging the accumulated rights of the employees, and allowing the contractor to take advantage of his position to collect money from the employees in exchange for work permits. Furthermore, this step is expected to ignite a race to the bottom that will lead to a violation of workers’ rights: in the three-way contract method, the labor contractors compete among themselves for the service orderers, and to that end, they are encouraged to lower prices, which creates a race to the bottom among the labor contractors. Indeed the Union believes that the best working relationship should be through direct engagement. 

Furthermore, the Union detailed additional concerns, including that long-term employment will not be possible in the future, and that short-term works increase the safety hazards at the construction sites. The potential increase in contracting costs is due to introducing a profit-motivated intermediary. 

Finally, Chairman Moyal raised continued concerns about the ineffectiveness of enforcement in the sector. 

The Histadrut believes that the proposed outline will harm the structure of work in the industry and its efficiency, the rights of the workers, and their safety and will bring new challenges in the enforcement field. Labor relations in the industry should be direct and based on the employee’s and employer’s acquaintance. 

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