The independent trade union centre WAC MAAN, representing the truck drivers at Movilei Dror, has declared a labor dispute in this firm on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015. This comes in response to the firm’s refusal to recognize WAC as the representative organization of the drivers, and to open negotiations over a collective agreement. This is in spite of the fact that so far 100 out of 162 drivers have signed WAC’s membership forms, far beyond the one-third of the working force demanded by law for establishing the status of a representative organization. The management claims that the issue at hand includes office workers as well and ignores the fact that the 100 drivers who signed for the union constitute one-third of the total count of the firm’s employees (both drivers and office workers). If the management persists in its refusal, WAC and the Drivers’ Action Committee of the drivers will be permitted by law to take a strike action beginning at September 16th. 2015.
Note that on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015, a meeting took place between Movilei Dror Management’s representatives, WAC’s representatives and the Drivers’ Action Committee. Present were also the attorneys of the parties. WAC was represented by Atts. Amir Basha and Moran Savorai. At this meeting, WAC agreed to give the firm’s representatives another 10 days to consider WAC’s demand to recognize its status as a representative organization and open negotiations. However, on August 27th 2015 Movilei Dror announced that it refuses to recognize WAC and will not negotiate with it. In the meantime, there was a concerted attempt to create an “internal committee” as an alternative to the Action Committee, serving directly or indirectly the interests of the management.
Movilei Dror is one of the leading firms in the Israeli market, working throughout the country. It is a successful, profitable company that provides transport services to IKEA and other leading firms such as HP, L’Oreal and others. In spite of this, it functions without a workers’ committee or a collective agreement and does not respect the rulings of the expansion order in the transport sector (The Expansion Decree a mandatory decree issued by the Minister of Economy with the effect of transforming a sector based collective agreement to a rule that every employer in the sector should comply with).
WAC’s legal team has made an inquiry and discovered that the firm’s drivers lose 1,800 NIS on the average of their monthly salary in comparison with the sum they are due to receive according to the Eexpansion Order.
The Transport sector in Israel is a wild market. More than 90% of truck drivers are unorganized. Drivers are forced to sit at the wheel for at least 12 hours a day, at lower than the average pay on the market. Their income consists of minimum wages and a premium whose rate and calculation mode are confidential and subject to the employer’s arbitrary decisions. Only the unionization of drivers and a collective agreement can protect the drivers’ basic rights.
Translation: Tal Haran