The Lives of the Workers that Cannot Vote Are Worthless 

This month at Kav LaOved: one thing is evidently clear for all the workers who cannot vote - their lives and safety are of no interest to their employers. Unfortunately, because they are the most marginalized workers, their right to safe employment is easily disregarded.  These workers whom have little options to refuse to fill a task for the fear of losing their livelihoods, too often take upon themselves dangerous tasks. During the past month we have witnessed more and more workers that this is their story. Mikhail, a construction worker from Moldova who came to Kav LaOved’s office, is a prime example of a worker who was seriously injured and was thrown to the street, unprotected. We can learn this also from the Thai agricultural workers who are left unsheltered from missiles in the south of Israel, and the Palestinian agricultural workers, whom we have met in a workshop on workplace safety. The police unit "Peles", which was established in order to investigate work accidents, could have guarded these workers' safety. Unfortunately, following a recent publication resulting from Kav LaOved's inquiry, it does not investigate those accidents. Also: some tips for workers, for the Election Day on Tuesday.
Are you sick? Were you injured? Have you stopped being fit for work? If you are a migrant worker, no one cares.

As of 2018 there are 5,408 workers from Moldova in the construction industry in  Israel. Israel needs them, in order to deal with housing prices. However, when these workers are injured and lose their ability to work, that is when they are no longer part of the work force, the state’s authorities cease to care about them. Mikhail, a construction worker from Moldova who worked in Israel for five years, arrived at Kav LaOved's office, injured and homeless. Mikhail fell from the third floor of a construction site where he worked - when he was required to perform a task that he initially refused to complete for fear of his life. Nevertheless he was forced to do it, and fell from a great height. He told us that his employers did not even take him to a hospital. He was thrown out of his apartment on the grounds that his work permit had ended and had to sleep in a building's boiler room. The National Insurance Institute, the Population, Borders and Immigration Authority, and anyone who could provide him with the necessary treatment and rights refused to do so. To-date there are no adequate regulations that regularize situations such as this one. The state, on the other hand, continues to bring in more workers. For the full article on the subject, broadcast by KAN (Hebrew and Russian).  
Even when missiles are fired, the migrant agricultural workers from Thailand continue to work

Many people in the center of Israel woke up this month alarmed by missile alarms. For the residents of the south, this is a routine, and among them the Thai agricultural workers. Reports we receive this month clearly show that Thai workers continue to be sent to work in the fields even during missle strikes.

M., a Thai agricultural worker, told us: "In the area where I live there were more than a few Qassam rockets. Throughout the time I have worked in Israel there have been numerous attacks on the south of Israel. On the first day I arrived to Israel the bombing started. No one told us anything about the security situation. The more senior Thai workers told us that 'the Arabs are attacking', and that in such cases we need to lay on the ground. Never during the bombings has our employer talked to us about the situation, given us guidance, nor exempted us from work. We worked throughout the bombing period as usual: in the greenhouses in the field. There is no shelter in the area of the greenhouses, and we were there all day, even during consecutive attacks. There is a shelter near the residence, and if it happens in the evening, we can go to the shelter. During the attacks, only the Thai workers work in the field. The employer, and the rest of the Israelis, are in bomb shelters. Only the Thai workers continue to work." This is in addition to the fact that just last August, a Thai woman was seriously injured by a rocket shrapnel. The late Niki Guttmann, the dedicated and caring correspondent of Israel Hayom in the south who passed away last month, covered the workers' situation (Hebrew).  
So what are we doing? Workers learn to say "no" to employers in Kav LaOved’s ‘safety at work’ workshops

"I know how important your work is for you, and that you fear you will lose it if you refuse to perform dangerous tasks. I ask you: imagine the look on the faces of your family members, if they are informed that you were injured in a work accident." Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Kav La'Oved said this to more than 50 Palestinian agricultural workers who are employed in Israel, during a workshop he led at the end of the March in Tulkarem refugee camp. The workshop was organized as part of a public awareness program led by Kav LaOved, in cooperation with CIMI and due to the support of the Manof Fund. It is designed to provide workers with practical tools to help them assert their rights and protect their safety.
And a few small tips for the General Election Day:

On Tuesday, the 09.04.2019, elections for the 21st Knesset will take place throughout Israel. What are your rights as employees?

1. Election Day is a day of rest.
2. Election Day salary: if you do not work during election day, you are entitled to regular pay, as if you worked. This only applies to workers who have been employed over 14 days prior to election day at the same workplace.
3. Employees who do work during this day are entitled to 200% of the regular workday wage for this day.
4. The employer must provide time and option for the employees to go out and vote.
Help us show workers they are not alone in their fight for just employment! A monthly donation to Kav LaOved will assist workers in standing up for their rights. Any new donation of at least 300 NIS (approx. $85.00 USD total) - or donations that triple previous ones - will be matched by one of our funding partners.

 To securely donate via "Israel Gives":

You are more than welcome to like our facebook page, visit our website and send us an email on any subject!
Mercaz HaBshorah
Phone: 04-6082228
Fax: 153-4-6082228

Herzl 18, Floor 2
Phone: 04-8643350
Fax: 04-8644238

Contact us via email at
Tel Aviv
Nahalat Binyamin 75, Floor 4
Phone: 03-6883766
Fax: 03-6883537

All donations will allow "Kav LaOved" to help workers get their rights at work and the money taken from them by their employers. Even a fixed contribution of 10 NIS per month. To donate by direct debit bank or credit card deposit contribution click here. Association account: Bank Hapoalim branch 781 Account 431095 in the name "Kav LaOved". To send a check to the offices of the association via mail: Kav LaOved PO Box 2319 ​​Tel Aviv 61022
Donations to Kav LaOved within Israel are income tax deductible under Section 46. Tax-deductible donations from abroad, by New Israel Fund. For more info: hagar@kavlaoved.org.il
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