(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Histadrut Labor Federation on Wednesday signed a collective wage agreement with Chefa Meals & Service Ltd., the country’s largest catering company. It is the first such accord in the local catering industry.
“The agreement with Chefa represents a model for adoption for other catering companies in Israel to improve the labor conditions of catering employees in the country,” Hertzel Yaka, chairman of the Histadrut’s Food and Pharmaceutical Union, said Wednesday.
The four-year agreement provides employment security for workers and
secures industrial quiet for Chefa and its clients, he said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Chefa workers who earn minimum wage
will get a salary increase of 0.5 percent. In addition, an incentive
bonus program will be implemented with NIS 150,000 in funding.
Workers’ mandatory pension payments will be advanced by one year and
start at the beginning of 2012 instead of 2013. Other improvements in
the workers’ conditions include an increase in the amount of holiday
vouchers and the establishment of a joint committee with the union and
The local catering industry has for many years been a profitable
enterprise, as companies, institutions and organizations increasingly
look to outside sources to provide meals.
Chefa Meals & Service has 1,100 workers in Israel. It is a
subsidiary of global catering company Sodexo, which employs 400,000
workers worldwide. Chefa provides 100,000 meals a day in Israel to
educational and health institutions, hi-tech companies, the Israel
Electric Corporation, Bezeq, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense
Ministry, among others.
Last October about 600 Chefa workers joined the Histadrut and asked the
company’s management to start negotiations over a collective wage
agreement. After attempts to bring management to the negotiation table
failed, the Histadrut in December declared a labor dispute, after which
Chefa’s management agree to enter talks.