Sources inform ''Globes'' that that employees of Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MGDL) have begun to unionize in a lightning campaign. Sources at the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) believe that, by tonight, at least 1,000 Migdal employees will have joined the union - one-third of the company's workforce. If this materializes, the Histadrut will become the union representing the company's employees, and Migdal's management will by law have to negotiate a labor contract with its employees.
After Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS) unionized with the Histadrut earlier this year, after a prolonged struggle against management, employees at Migdal and The Phoenix Holdings Ltd. (TASE: PHOE1;PHOE5) laid the groundwork to follow suit. Their activity was slow and secret, but at Migdal, began to acquire the form of a full-scale military campaign.
"There is no place where we are not active. We came organized and with the goal of winning," a Histadrut source told "Globes". "D-Day was set for today, and all Migdal employees received an SMS and link to a website to join the Histadrut digitally. The Histadrut also set up sign-up stalls across from the company's headquarters in Petah Tikva, and activists from the union and employees are distributing brochures as we speak, calling on the employees to enter the special Facebook page set up for the unionization."
The trigger for the unionization at Migdal was its transfer of control to Shlomo Eliahu. Employees fear that Eliahu, considered a conservative in labor relations, will streamline the company at their expense. For example, two weeks ago, Migdal restricted the fuel quota for company cars, and employees fear that this is just the beginning. The departure of several executives has not helped.
Migdal's management said that CEO Yonel Cohen has instructed all the relevant parties at the company not to intervene in any way against the employees' right to unionize. A source identified with the company said, "You won't see here the scenes at other places. We won't interfere; we definitely won't take active measures, we just won't intervene. When we receive official notification, we'll know what to do next."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 30, 2013
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