In 2013 Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline was contacted by thousands of workers from across the country and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli, Palestinian, refugee and migrant workers came to us as individuals, but all shared the experience of being denied their basic rights as workers in the Israeli labor market.
During 2013 we initiated new partnerships with many human rights organizations within the framework of protecting the rights of workers from excluded and disadvantaged populations. In March, a collaboration began between Kav LaOved and the organizations Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice, Kayan-Feminist Organization and the Workers’ Rights Clinic of Tel Aviv University – a project promoting the labor rights of Arab and Ethiopian women. Another new project includes Kav LaOved, ASSAF – Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and Mesila – Aid and Information Center for the Foreign Community, focusing on advancing social rights related to pension, work accident, and pregnancy and birth.
We are witnessing a trend in which Kav LaOved receives more and more complaints from Israeli workers, evidenced by a significant increase in online requests for advice. Perhaps this reflects an increase in violations of workers’ rights, or perhaps it is a sign of increased awareness on the part of workers, who are ready to ask for assistance instead of remaining silent. It is our role to provide each of these workers with support.
This past summer we decided to deepen and broaden the involvement of Kav LaOved in addressing the exploitation of contract employment, and for this purpose a new staff member joined the team. Furthermore, a unique collaboration is being launched next month in partnership with Koach LaOvdim – Democratic Workers’ Organization, to organize migrant agricultural workers. All these efforts and many others are evidence of Kav LaOved’s struggle to protect the rights of the weakest and most exploited workers in the Israeli labor market via innovative and exciting approaches. Kav LaOved continues to provide individual assistance to thousands of workers, and also lead changes on a principled level, via legislation and policy.
We were thrilled this week to receive the announcement from the Minister of Justice that Kav LaOved has been granted status in accordance with the Class Action Law of 2006, which enables Kav LaOved to seek permission to file class action lawsuits regarding labor law. We are the first organization to receive this legal status, one that allows us to express our opinion in a manner similar to the Attorney General!
Kav LaOved is a non-profit organization based on values of social justice. The staff includes over 25 individuals and the crucial involvement of 130 volunteers. Kav LaOved staff work tirelessly to enforce workers’ rights and hence workers are returned millions of Shekels entitled to them by law, previously withheld by employers.
At the start of a new year, I request your consideration of making a donation to Kav LaOved to support our mission to serve more workers in the Israeli labor market. For more information on how to make a gift, please click here.
CEO of Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline