The Histadrut has declared a strike at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation

Jul 18, 2022

Following a deadlock in negotiations to sign a collective agreement for workers, harm to working conditions, and the transition to employment through manpower companies. Chairman of the Histadrut Jerusalem District, Danny Bonfil: “They turned workers into slaves.”

This morning, the Histadrut declared a strike at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which will last for several hours. After that, further steps will be considered. The strike is relevant to about 600 workers, and as part of it, the tours of the Western Wall tunnels and the work in the Foundation’s management offices were stopped.

More than two weeks ago, a labor dispute was declared following a deadlock in negotiations to sign a first collective agreement that would improve the employment conditions of the Foundation’s employees, as well as harm to working conditions and beyond the employment of workers through manpower companies.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is engaged in carrying out development work, preservation and maintenance of the Western Wall, conducting excavations in the Western Wall tunnels, presenting exhibitions, and publishing publications related to the Western Wall.

The grounds for the labor dispute declared in the Foundation stated that: “The employer is conducting deliberate procrastination and in bad faith in negotiations, and stubbornly refuses any offer from the workers ‘representatives. The employer violates the workers’ working conditions by unilaterally changing their wages and scope of service.” It was further stated that the employer recruits new employees through staffing companies in positions previously filled by the Foundation’s employees and that there is “employer harassment of members of the workers’ committee, to weaken the workers’ representation and damage collective labor relations.”

The chairman of the Histadrut Jerusalem District, Danny Bonfil, said: “They turned the workers into slaves. The workers receive the lowest salaries in the economy, and in recent years we have been trying to reach a collective agreement, but the management is doing everything to prevent this. Therefore, I had no choice but to shut down the place for a few hours and then, if we have to, for a few days as well. “

The chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation workers’ committee, Amir Tshuva, said: “We want to reach a collective agreement, but the management has been ‘smearing’ us for four years. Workers from staffing companies replaced about 80% of the workers in those four years. They are harassing the committee, making us feel unwanted and unwilling to cooperate with us. The consultants receive millions, and the workers remain poor. “

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