Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) chairman Avi Nissenkorn have reached understandings that will end the labor dispute over the employment of contract workers. The general strike planned to start on Wednesday has consequently been cancelled.
Kahlon and Nissenkorn are formulating the understandings after discussing the matter late into the night last night. Their discussions continued this morning, and eventually resulted in agreement. Under the agreement, 10,000 contract workers in the public sector will become full government employees within 4 years and 6,000 contract workers in the private sector will receive employees status.
Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, told "Globes" today, "There is no reason to hold a general strike, which is liable to cause damage and suffering in the private sector, at a time when the Ministry of Finance supports transferring contract workers to direct employment." Lynn said that the Histadrut should accede to the Ministry of Finance's demands for management flexibility and mobility of employees if contract workers are to receive permanent employment in the public sector.
Lynn presented figures today, based on Central Bureau of Statistics data, showing that in the past decade there has been 9% growth in employment in industry, 59% growth in trade and services, and 62% growth in the public sector. "At the end of 2014, the public sector in Israel employed about 1, 178,000 people, some of them in situations of hidden unemployment, and they are paid out of the public purse. Therefore, when a worker is transferred to direct employment, it would be as well that the employer should have the flexibility to manage in accordance with his needs."
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce supports switching contract workers to direct employment. "The existing law in any case provides a solution for this situation," says Lynn, "After nine months of employing someone via a manpower company, the employer must take him or her onto the payroll. A distinction should be maintained between workers employed via manpower companies and workers who provide a service to another organization through outsourcing, in which case they are employees of the company providing services to its customers."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 20, 2015
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