The fight against precarious work is one that has been central to trade unions around the world in recent years. In many countries, it seems to be a losing battle as ever-increasing numbers of workers lose the rights of permanent employment. We’ve reported before on some big victories the Israeli unions have won in recent months, especially among state employees, but last week saw another important one — this time at Ben Gurion Airport.
Following a strike threat by airport workers, the airport’s governing authority gave in to the workers’ demands. As The Times of Israel reported:
“The contracts of around 1,000 workers will be transferred to the Airport Authority, who will directly oversee their salaries, instead of their current third-party employer. The employees, who are mostly cleaning and maintenance workers, had complained of sub-standard conditions.”
Note that these were unionized, permanent employees threatening to strike to improve the conditions of contract workers — an example of the kind of solidarity needed to defend workers’ rights on the job. Unions in other countries, including those which currently support a boycott of all things Israeli, including the Histadrut, have much to learn from these struggles.