Nearly half of the county’s workforce will not receive a full salary during the
upcoming national holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and the week of Succot
because they are paid for their work by the hour, and do not receive a global
monthly salary, according to estimates by labor rights organization Kav Laoved
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, less than
a week before the Jewish holiday season begins, the organization’s Hanna Zohar
said that Israel had seen a sharp increase in workers being paid per hour over
the last few years.
Whereas the phenomenon was once reserved for a few
part-time workers or temporary laborers today, many people actually work
full-time and spend many years at the same place of employment, she
“We estimate that it’s 45 percent of the workforce, but believe it
is much more than that because the number is growing all the time,” said Zohar,
of the practice which likely affects more than one million people working in
this country. Most of them earn minimum wage.
The hotline believes
that this past summer’s wave of mass social protests, which drew hundreds of
thousands of supporters from across the country demanding social justice and
improved economic conditions, has lead to an increase in the number of people
turning to the organization to help them fight for improved work conditions and
Zohar explained that with this particular issue, a worker who
is paid by the hour simply does not receive a full salary when their employer
closes down the business for the holidays. This also includes working less hours
the day before the holiday and halfdays during the week of non-High Holy Days
(hol hamoed Succot).
While the law states those employees who work the
day before and the day after a holiday should be paid for the actual holiday in
between, in order to avoid this, some employers simply close the business
completely on those days, she said.
While in the past hourly workers
might have been less permanent and could find an alternative temporary job to
supplement their pay, as they increasingly become full-time at one place of
employment this is now impossible, said Zohar, outlining that this practice
affects those in blue-collar jobs such as guarding, cleaning and construction,
as well as cellphone company and the hi-tech sector employees.
who get paid a global monthly salary will not work over the holidays, but are
still likely to see their full salary at the end of the month,” she said giving
the example of government employees who do not work throughout the week of
Succot, but are still paid with combination of vacation days owing to them by
Zohar, who noted that the practice “pays for the employers but not
the employee,” said that Kav Laoved has been attempting to raise the issue and
push forward legislation on the matter for the past few years.
such indifference to this issue and yet we are all surprised when we hear there
are more and more working poor,” she said.
Among the solutions put
forward by the NGO are to ensure that people who are paid by the hour do not
work more than 60% of the time and those earning minimum wage, who get paid per
hour, automatically have 10% added to their salary.
While Kav Laoved
plans to renew its campaign for better legislation to protect the rights of
these workers, those behind this summer’s tent protests declared Thursday that
they were preparing for a new phase in the socioeconomic battle.
of the on-going fight, student organizations and others involved in the protests
will hold what they are calling the first-ever “Social Congress” this Friday at
the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
“The first Social Congress will
provide all citizens of this country with the tools to make their voices heard,”
said one of the protest leaders Daphni Leef in a statement.
Israel call on the prime minister to establish a new social budget for
The government-appointed Trajtenberg Committee, which has been
tasked with finding comprehensive solutions to the increasing public
dissatisfaction over the cost of living in this country, is expected to submit
its recommendations on Monday.