Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Jan 28, 2016

600 Haredi women being fired - take notice

and here is an example of what happens when employees without a lot of leverage start to "make trouble" and demand more than what they originally agreed to.

A few years ago Hillel Yaakovson set up a company called Net Source for the purpose of employing haredi women, and he did so to the tune of 600 women.

After some years of employment, the women decided to unionize, after not having their demands met.

They have the legal right to do so.

In response, Yaakovson has announced that he is shutting down the company, Net Source, and everyone is to be fired within 60 days.

He has the legal right to do so.

Yaakovson says that the company is not profitable, and the owners have invested a lot of their own money to keep the business going and to improve it.  Yet, many of the employees see the owners as taking advantage of them and acting in harmful ways. Yaakovson sounds surprised but says they have worked hard to keep the business open and to employ so many people, despite a downturn in income. And therefore they are closing up shop. Within 60 days.
source: Kikar and ShemeshNet

I am sure there are two sides, or more, to the story. They blame the others and the others blame them. I have no interest in picking sides in an employment dispute, and have no way to judge who is right, who is wrong, nor who did or didn't do what.

My point is that when companies are enticed to be forthcoming to a group of people and create special terms of employment, and the employees really have nowhere else to go (by their own choice, as they refuse to enter the general workforce on the regular terms), they cannot start demanding changes to the terms without expecting repercussions, even if they are legally allowed to.

It happened with Net Source, and if other people are not careful, it will also happen with others. If Moshe Gafni does not pay attention and be careful, he is going to get a lot of Haredi women on the unemployment lines when suddenly a dozen companies employing Haredi women decide it is not worth their time to provide special and unique environments to employees who start making more and more demands.

Even if the women are legally allowed to.

If Moshe Gafni is not careful with his crusade for the Haredi women who do not make enough money (and they don't ), he very well may get a lot of them fired. Then they will really be up a creek.

A solution needs to be found, but they better be careful with the demands they make.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. SB, Beit ShemeshJanuary 28, 2016 5:08 PM

    Right, because it costs SO MUCH for the employer to give them a room that it makes him unprofitable to pay them normally

  2. I have no idea what the demands are, nor do I know what his expenses are. he claims to be operating at a loss.
    what he could do is not my point.
    my point is that they made an agreement, and now they are trying to force that to be changed, so instead of negotiating he is saying it is not worth the hassle and just shutting down the entire operation.
    the laws might or might not be fair. business owners often claim the laws are one-sided in favor of the employees, making it relatively difficult to be an employer in Israel, but maybe they are just kvetching. these women are legally allowed to organize into a union to have more strength to make more demands for what they consider improvements in their terms of employment. they tried to do that and look where it got them.
    I am saying, that there might be better ways for Gafni to work to resolve the problem of these women being taken advantage of, and it is a problem, rather than fist-pounding and screaming and looking to force changes. if he does that, some other companies might just throw up their hands as well and say it just isnt worth it

  3. I worked for Net Source on a contract job when I first made Aliyah. I was told point-blank, while negotiating for a better pay rate, that they prefer hiring inexperienced developers who cannot demand greater pay. I was also told then that they were not profitable. I remember thinking that if they won't pay for experience, they never would be. Seems I was correct.

  4. you added an important point Avi, and it is correct. A lot of these women (not all, but a lot) are getting their experience with these jobs. Starting salaries for people fresh out of school is always much lower. Some of them (not so many) do use these jobs as a launching pad - they learn the ropes and then move on to better paying jobs elsewhere. Most of them choose to stay and never get much more than when they began with no experience.

  5. Cannot understand how greed catches up with people, and you would think that chareidi women would know better and who have found it hard to find employment in the first place, would know when to stop following the rest of the world and be happy that they have a job - just as everyone should who has a job. The push for unionization has been the reason for so many businesses, big and small, to have no choice but to shut down. What is wrong with people who bite the hand that feeds them?

  6. I wouldn't call it greed. But as the comments above indicate - it is foolishness, to think that they can milk more out of an empty cow, when there are better jobs elsewhere.

  7. they cannot start demanding changes to the terms
    It seems you have indeed taken a side. Are you familiar with the terms?
    Ok, the business has been running okay for so long, do the employees deserve to be remunerated for the experience they've achieved, or are they expected to work at the same salary forever? And let's say that the salary is indeed not negotiatble, what about the issue of sick days and other indirect rights/obligations, are you privy to the terms and are they fair? Where the terms when the initiative started really taking into account what happens at any company after many years?
    At this point, I am on the side of the workers. The employer could have run to the MKs (publicly or otherwise) and achieved some benefits that would have compensated for the extra expense.

    1. The owner has rights to not agree to a union (which will undoubtedly laed to further strife, etc) and close the (failing) business, and the employees have rights to demand whatever they want.

      The employer doesn't have to use whatever political capital he has to lobby MKs, etc for whatever benefits he can get, which may be too costly for him (and i mean costly in non monetary terms.)

      The employees gambled,, and they lost. (Will they go cry to their rav / rebbe, or to their political people? To a bet din, or to a civil court?)

    2. Relying on government favors or handouts is one approach - but not everyone's. Why should a business set itself up to be bailed out by MKs, some would simply call that not solvent.

  8. MiMedinat HaYamJanuary 31, 2016 4:06 PM, you're missing the point. The operators of these special projects are already getting some sort of benefit other than cheap labour. And part of doing business is indeed politics. The owner could have (I don't know if he did not) contact the histadrut in back channels and find a way for THEM to arrange a three way deal in which the workers join (WIN), the Histadrut scores a new company (WIN), and the owner gets some benefits from local and national government (WIN).


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...