The National Labor Court is expected to make a decision soon on what companies
are and are not permitted to do when workers unionize, as the ongoing dispute
between mobile carrier Pelephone and its employees continues.
court-mediated meeting between Pelephone, the Federation of Israeli Economic
Organizations and the Histadrut labor federation ended without resolution
Sunday, with the Histadrut declaring that it will not negotiate on the right of
employees to unionize.
Histadrut representatives argued that employer
interference in the unionization process prevents workers from choosing freely
whether or not they join a labor organization.
“This is not a case of
free market of opinions in which workers present their view and the employer
presents its view,” Histadrut attorney Orna Lin said. “The employer on who the
worker depends for his livelihood has a disproportionate weight in the matter
and can have great influence on the worker’s consideration on whether or not to
join a union.”
Pelephone CEO Gil Sharon wrote a letter to employees last
week in which he called on them to resume work and told them that the ongoing
dispute was harming the company’s financial performance. He wrote that he is
unable to express any position about an individual worker’s decision to join a
union, but said that such activity should not be allowed to disturb
Meanwhile, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
petitioned the High Court of Justice Monday in a bid to have it overturn a law
in which a company is held legally responsible for the behavior of contract
companies to which they have outsourced certain services.
petition, the FICC’s legal representatives argued that the law requires
employers to act as enforcers on the state’s behalf, when enforcement should
actually be the direct responsibility of the state itself.
president of the business sector roof body, said the current regulations put at
risk 450,000 small- and medium- sized businesses, which “are precisely those
businesses that contribute to economic growth, create jobs and increase state
These businesses “receive nothing from the state and bear the
risks on their own,” Lynn said. “If they fail, family savings and the labor of
many years goes down the drain.”