Knesset cafeteria employees fired, again

20 workers fired as politicians say they identify with nationwide protests calling for "social justice".

By
August 19, 2011 04:36
1 minute read.
Knesset Cafeteria

Knesset cafeteria 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Two-thirds of the Knesset cafeteria workers were let go earlier this month, when the summer recess began.

While many politicians have said they identify with nationwide protests calling for “social justice,” Shefa Food Services, which runs the Knesset’s three cafeterias, fired 20 employees right under the MKs’ noses.

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The budget Shefa receives from the Knesset is reduced during the recess, making it necessary for the franchise holder to fire employees.

“This has been going on for years,” said a veteran cafeteria worker who asked not to be identified. “Every time the Knesset has a recess and less people eat in the cafeterias, lots of people are fired.”

She added: “They don’t get any compensation for being fired, because they haven’t been working here long enough.”

Many Knesset cafeteria workers are put on temporary leave twice a year, and often the company managing the cafeterias makes sure to fire and rehire the workers so they will not have to give severance benefits.

Shefa declined to comment.

In previous years, MKs have worked to protect the cafeteria workers, but this summer they have kept quiet on the matter.

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In 2007, then-Meretz MK Ran Cohen filed a complaint to Coffee Shop, which operated the cafeterias at the time, about the practice of firing and rehiring workers. As a result, many of the employees were sent to work at one of Coffee Shop’s other Jerusalem branches.

Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.

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