New collective agreement in the construction industry signed
The agreement, signed by the Histadrut, the Builders’ Association of Builders, and the Association of Renovation Contractors, will be valid for five years and includes, among other things, a significant increase in the minimum wage.
The Histadrut of Construction Workers and Related Industries, the Builders’ Association of Builders, and the Association of Renovation Contractors headed by Eran Sib signed a general collective agreement today (Sunday) aimed at improving workers’ conditions in the construction industry and rising wages, along with expanding employers’ commitment to safety. The agreement, which is an addition and update to the collective agreement from 2015, is for five years, subject to an extension order by the government.
The construction and infrastructure industry employs about 340,000 workers, of whom about a quarter of a million are Israelis. The agreement includes updating workers ‘wages to an improved industry minimum wage relative to the minimum wage in the economy, automatic promotion between wage levels, encouraging professional training and safety training for workers, and improving workers’ rights on other issues. Also, due to the significant shortage of forepersons in the construction industry, it has been agreed to raise their salaries considerably to encourage veteran and experienced forepersons to stay in the industry.
The agreement also stipulates that employers in the industry will increase their investment in maintaining safety and will be required to send their employees for practical safety training, in which employees will receive work-at-height training and training on other issues related to the construction site safety. The vocational training will be delivered in a variety of languages. At the same time, the safety agreement signed in 2018 has been updated to facilitate its implementation.
The Foundation for the Encouragement and Development of the Construction Industry, a joint venture between the Histadrut and the Contractors’ Association, has been working in recent years to reduce accidents in the industry and coordinates various training programs for occupational safety. Later, it is planned to establish an academy for the construction professions, which will train the next generation of workers and forepersons in the industry.
Histadrut chairman Arnon Bar-David said, “dozens of workers in Israel are deprived of their lives every year in the construction industry due to serious safety problems. We must not get used to a reality where a person goes to work and does not know if he will return to his family in peace. I welcome the agreement, which also takes care of safety in the industry and improves the workers’ conditions and their wages. I sincerely hope that from here, we embark on a new path that will save lives in the construction industry. I thank Yitzhak Moyal, my friend Raoul Srugo for the partnership along the way, the Association of Renovation Contractors, and everyone who was involved in signing this important agreement. We will continue to work for the workers in all sectors of the economy.”
President of the Builders Association of Builders, Raul Srugo : “We are very proud of the addition to the agreement. The construction and infrastructure industry is the locomotive of the economy. This is another important tool for expanding the industry and recruiting many Israelis who can contribute to its continued growth. It joins an employment and management horizon where the sky is the limit. The workers of the industry are dear to us, and they are our daily partners in building the State of Israel and marching forward. We thank the partners in the agreement, the chairman of the association’s working committee, Amit Gotlib, and his team and call on the state to meet the shortage of manpower in our industry to continue building the state and meet the high demand in the housing market.”
The chairman of the Construction Workers’ Union and related industries, Yitzhak Moyal, said that “after grueling negotiations in which there were ups and downs, we reached an agreement that brings a new message. An agreement that raises wages for all workers in the industry and gives them good and decent employment conditions. The industry minimum wage will increase up to NIS 6,300 per month during the agreement period, making it the highest minimum wage in the economy. The agreement also includes automatic promotion in employee salary levels and an incentive for employees and employers to refer employees to vocational training courses through the Foundation for the Encouragement and Development of the Construction Industry.
There will also be a wage increase per hour of work for crane operators, and forepersons will be entitled to a significant wage increase of almost 50%. It was also agreed on a substantial improvement in the salaries of renovation workers. The agreement is huge news for the industry, which is the economic locomotive of the economy, and the industry workers deserve it.”
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