The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has just released its Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights. The report, which covers nearly every country in the world, offers a scathing critique of labour rights in Israel — particularly the treatment of migrant and Palestinian workers.
“The enforcement of labour law is weak and breaches of labour law are common. The right to strike is coupled with restrictions. There were several major strikes during the year. The use of court orders forcing workers back to work during a strike continued in 2011. Palestinian workers in Israel, even with permits, are sometimes deprived of their rights. Israeli minorities are sometimes subject to employment-related discrimination.”
But unlike other critics, the ITUC is scrupulous with its facts and careful to point to positive developments as well as negative ones. Reading its report, one would not conclude — as so many anti-Israel activists have done — that the Histadrut is anything other than a genuine, and sometimes highly effective, trade union federation.
(We will review the Palestine section of the report later this week.)