They demand their wages are paid as required by law and aim for a collective agreement.
On July 23, the Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN) notified Moviley Dror’s director general Amir Rothschild that it had become the representative workers’ organization at the firm, and requested negotiations towards a collective agreement. Over a third of the workers, 83 out of 210, have joined WAC, thus enabling the organization to claim representative status.
The drivers haul goods for leading chains such as Ikea, HP, Delta, L’Oréal, Flextronics and Pachmas Industries. It is one of the largest haulage companies in Israel and has four branches, in Caesarea, Migdal Ha’emeq, Ashdod Port and Ben Gurion Airport, yet till now there has been no collective agreement or workers’ committee at the firm.
As a result, for many years the drivers’ wages and other benefits have not been paid as required by law. WAC’s investigations have revealed that on average, each driver loses out on some 1,800 shekels (app 333 EU) each month, compared to the wages he should have received. For example, instead of making payments of some 1,000 shekels per month into the pension fund, the company pays just 700 on average. Similarly, the drivers lose out on study fund payments. In addition, the company pays just 300 shekels per month for board and lodging (Per Diem), while the collective agreement relevant to the industry, which applies to them due to an extension order, requires that some 1,500 shekels be paid to that end.
After many years in which the company has ignored the drivers’ demands to correct these failings, a large group of drivers turned to WAC which has been active in the haulage industry for years, and had seporadic contacts with some of the works there. A temporary committee of three drivers from Ashdod and Haifa took it upon themselves to join WAC in an attempt to put the haulage industry in order. As is already well known, drivers are regularly compelled to drive much more than the regulatory 12 hours, and work on the basis of minimum wage with premiums based on loads carried which the companies often manipulate.
WAC received a response from Epstein Knoller Chomsky & Co law offices, acknowledging that “Moviley Dror intends to negotiate towards a collective agreement as required by law”. Nonetheless, the company has still failed to respond to WAC’s request to fix a date for the first meeting.