200 top academics petition gov't to cancel ‘shackling’ law

The law would give the interior minister the authority to select how many employers foreign workers in the caretaking field can work for.

May 13, 2011 03:29
1 minute read.
Illustrative photo

FOREIGN WORKERS 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Over 200 top Israeli academics signed a petition released on Thursday calling on the government to cancel a bill that would bind foreign workers to their employers.

The law, which passed its first reading during the past Knesset session, would give the interior minister the authority to select how many employers foreign workers in the caretaking field can work for, and which geographic areas they are allowed to work in. It would also allow the Interior Ministry to determine which specific fields of caretaking individual workers can work in.

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The petition, which was sponsored by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, says that if put into law, the bill would have the effect of “making it so that migrants working as caretakers will not be able to freely change employers and that those who quit their work without authorization will be subject to arrest and deportation.”

The petition continues: “Shackling foreign workers to their employers, exploiting their economic distress and increasing the infringements on their labor rights is not an alternative to finding agreed-upon social policies to treat senior citizens and people with disabilities in need of assistance.”

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