This morning, truck drivers at the leading haulage company Movilei Dror went on strike. A protest vigil is being held in the Migdal Ha’emeq industrial zone, at the entrance to the Movilei Dror logistics center, 2 Ha’ariza St.
Moshe Mizrahi, a member of the workers’ committee that WAC_MAAN organized, said yesterday, “We will strike because of the long hours, the low wages, and the violation of our rights. We demand what we deserve, nothing more. If the management agrees to reopen negotiations, we will stand behind the company for success and regular employment relations.”
The cause of the strike is the illegal and bullying behaviour of the company. For many years, Movilei Dror paid its drivers wages below the minimum determined by the extension order relevant to the industry; failed to ensure them against loss of ability to work; reimbursed board and lodging at a lower rate than that determined by the extension order; and made ridiculously low contributions to pension and study funds. Moreover, the company reduces holiday days without cause, and systematically “errs” in calculating the days worked by drivers, so that they end up receiving some NIS 6,000-7,000 per month for work days often lasting 11 or 12 hours.
Wages at Movilei Dror are based on minimum wage plus arbitrarily-determined “premiums” which are granted according to the whims of the person responsible for the rosters. This compels the drivers to work long hours, which is directly related to the high number of accidents in which truck drivers are involved.
Six months ago, drivers at Movilei Dror joined the the Independent Trade Union Centre WAC-MAAN. In September 2015, the company recognized WAC-MAAN as the representative organization and negotiations began. But towards the end of January 2016, the company unilaterally broke off the talks, claiming that a lawyer had informed them that the drivers had cancelled their membership in WAC.
Due to this unilateral step, WAC-MAAN declared a labor dispute on February 3. As required by law, the employment relations officer for Haifa and the northern region, Atty. Nava Levi, was informed of the dispute, as was the company management. Since the company failed to return to negotiations during the 15 days “cooling off” period required by law, the strike is being held legally.