Although many critics claim the J14 movement failed by not challenging the occupation or achieving sufficient results for Israeli workers and the middle class, a wave of revived labor organizing indicates new potential for worker power -- a May Day update. One thing is certain: personally, it's been a hell of a ride. About 18 months ago the new Union of Journalists in Israel (UJI) was set up and I quickly joined. It took us a couple of months of hard work until April 22, 2012 when the UJI announced it was officially representing journalists in 10 media organizations; I…Read More... | 2 Comments
The solitary work of a trucker entails long hours, poor pay and dangerous conditions. One trade union is attempting to organize drivers in a sector which is crucial to the Israeli economy. By Alon Aviram Haifa - At the largest of Israel’s seaports, heavy haulage trucks operate day and night, continuously working to transport imports and exports across the country. A stench of diesel fumes hangs in the port, and the sounds of shifting gears and screeching brakes are constant. Over 10,000 heavy vehicle drivers are employed in haulage in Israel. Unionization is scarce, and work conditions are grizzly. Long…Read More...
The Bund was a Jewish socialist, revolutionary party in Eastern Europe dedicated to class struggle. It is all but forgotten in modern day Israel, but a few members are still around to tell the story. By Alon Aviram A piano played and a middle-aged woman stood in the middle of the room singing classical Yiddish songs to an attentive, seated audience of 30 or so old men and women. Every so often the music was interrupted by a hoarse laugh or some remark blurted out in Yiddish by a member of the audience. Heavy red velvet curtains blocked out the…Read More... | 18 Comments
'There have been no institutions, no organizations for Palestinian workers within Israel to defend their rights.' A young labor union is resisting exploitation and defending the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, with a focus on the rights of women workers. By Alon Aviram NAZARETH - Security cameras and a heavy metal door secure the otherwise inconspicuous apartment. This is the office of the Arab Workers Union in Israel (AWU). Photographs of local demonstrations and flags of international trade unions drape the interior walls. Wehbe Badarneh, 43, from the village of Arabah, is the general secretary of the trade union.…Read More... | 6 Comments
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