Tacharut – The Movement for Freedom of Employment
Israel is known as Startup Nation: number one in innovation and startup per capita, with a strong economy that weathered the 2008 financial crisis. This extraordinary economic strength is key to withstanding the unique security challenges that Israel faces. But Israel’s economic welfare is threatened by the ever-growing monopoly power of trade unions. Since 2009 Israel has slipped 25 places in the Doing Business Index of the World Bank, and it is now lagging in 54th place.
Outside the high-tech bubble – only a small part of the national economy – the Israeli business sector is in deep freeze, thanks to the complexities of Israeli bureaucracy:
Each of these services, critical to running a successful business, have one thing in common: strong unions that obstruct reforms and create a very unfriendly business environment.
Compared to other developed countries, Israel’s labor laws grant labor unions excessive power – especially to the Histadrut (Israel’s labor federation). The Histadrut serves as an umbrella organization for many labor unions and represents some 700,000 workers, including 90% of unionized workers in the public sector. This economic leverage, reinforced by the prevailing labor laws and pro-union rulings of the labor courts, grants the Histadrut power and effective bargaining ability against the State. The Histadrut’s ability to paralyze the Israeli economy at no cost to itself enables the Histadrut to achieve significant gains at the public's expense.
Tacharut’s Strategy: Guiding Principles
Tacharut is the only organization in Israel dedicated to curbing union power. We are working to bring about the essential legislative changes needed to limit union power.
In the business sector: Our primary goal is to halt the continuing trend of trade unionization in private business corporations.
In the public sector: Our goal is to limit the Histadrut’s ability to blackmail the government into economy-stagnating concessions.
To this end, Tacharut will operate in several areas to minimize trade union power, enhance freedom and prosperity for both employee and employer, and bring about significant change in the labor market:
Research and Policy Papers Tacharut will examine the social and economic impact of public sector unionization; best and common businesses practices in Israel and in other countries; and different models for unionizing workers and the state of labor law. This research will also present viable alternatives to the status quo.
Raising Public Awareness: Tacharut will inform the public about the heavy price that trade unions exact from Israeli society; their substantial responsibility for the inefficiency in the various branches of government; and what unions should really achieve on behalf of workers. Tacharut will initiate media activities, publish op-eds, produce informational videos on social media, and testifying as experts in relevant government hearings.
Right-to-Work Aid Center: Tacharut is establishing a center for workers who do not wish their workplace be unionized, as well as for workers who have been affected by union corruption. This center will offer legal counsel and media relations assistance to affected workers.
Government relations and lobbying: Tacharut is developing close ties with Knesset members from all parties and members of government sympathetic to its cause and will enlist them in our efforts to bring about legislative change. We work to analyze and explain the merits of various Right to Work policies, anti-corruption policies and creating a more business friendly environment in Israel.