Representatives met with the Histadrut to investigate the need and existing the problems of Freelancers and the possibility of unionizing under the auspices of the Histadrut. Writers, Editors, Translators, Communication Information System Workers:
In response to several posting on various lists, Laura Goldman approached the Histradrut Labor Organization. A group of interested freelancers met with the President, and Vice President of the Union Group that handles most freelance and artistic professions. They support more than 50,000 workers in Israel including actors, theatrical techies (such as stage hands, designers), artists, photographers, graphic artists, etc.
We met with the Histradrut Chapter President, David Galanos and Vice-President Doron Carney to hear from them what associating ourselves with the Histradrut would offer us as freelance, independent workers.
The Union responded as follows:
- Support - on the first level from Union staff
- Support on the second level from the Union 's legal staff
- Benefits - possibility of getting better Insurances, pensions, etc. as a group
- Worker Committee discounts - such as are often offered to employee groups
As a new group in this sector, we need to investigate the need and the problems that exist. We would like anyone and everyone to please send an email stating problems you have had in your working environment, such as doing work and not getting paid, not getting benefits (pitzuim) as required, etc.
We are also interested in hearing about other types of challenges that you face as a freelancer. As independent contractors, you undoubtedly may have, at some point, experienced feeling alone and did not know who to turn to for legal advice when in a difficult situation. You might not even fully understand your legal status as a self-employed individual. Maybe you never even thought about creating a pension plan for yourself, or you believe that freelancers or independent contractors, should in principle be entitled to exactly the same rights and benefits as regular employees.
Please send the email to ]]>
It is important that we hear from as many people as possible. Please add your name and contact information to the email.. All names will be strictly confidential - no names will be harvested or given out for any reason whatsoever!
What we are looking for right now are points of pain/interest - what is hurting or can help you as an independent worker.
Obviously, the union can not go out and organize a contract for us - we each work for different people/places, but the Union can provide a backing and a place to turn when you have a problem.
Since the problems of independent contractors are unique, we intend to build a new framework within the Histadrut which regards each contractor as an individual, each contractor's problem as important, and which will handle each issue on a case by case basis."
At the present time, there is no obligation to join the union. It is rather an investigation to see what problems exist and if the union is able to help solve some of these problems.
Thank you all in advance for your cooperation and looking forward to all your information
The next meeting with the Histradrut will be the middle of November in Jerusalem.
The Investigation Committee
(Submitted by Laura Goldman)