Source: Zazim, Israeli community action
At the height of the anti-deportation campaign, dozens of African refugees requested to join the Histadrut – Israel’s national trade union – with the hope that its political power could protect them from the government’s cruel deportation plan. Yet the Histadrut’s leadership rejected the refugees’ requests, citing “technical issues.”
But the refugees and union activists didn’t give up – and neither did our members:
Over 2,600 Zazim members sent direct letters to the Histadrut’s chairman – a Labor Party member with political ambitions for the Knesset – calling on him to accept the requests and remind him that we’re watching. In the meantime, refugees and union activists from Hadash [Israel’s communist party] took the case to the union’s internal court – pointing to international conventions that require the Histadrut to accept all workers, including asylum seekers and refugees.
Our pressure worked, and the Histadrut announced that refugees can join as union members and receive union protections just like any other worker!
But the Israeli government is still scouring the globe for a place to deport thousands of refugees, and the fight for a just and permanent solution for the refugees is far from over.