Our affiliate in Israel, the National Union of Building and Wood Workers, NUBWW, reports the signing of an agreement that will improve the wages and working conditions of the tower crane operators. For Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren: "This is the first step on a long road to regulate the safety in the whole construction sector." The agreement was signed on 6 April 2017.
For Yitzhak Moyal, Chairman of NUBWW: "After a difficult journey of over a year and a half, justice was reached as the transparent workers receive recognition, and the exploitation they have experienced until now will cease. This is another important step in regulating the sector, and I am happy that the Israel Builders Association recognized the need for change, and that we knew to lead it together."
The agreement to regulate the rights of the crane operators in the construction sector will be added as an annex to the sectorial agreement in the construction and infrastructure sector, which was signed in June 2015 and extended by an extension order in November 2015. Then agreement will result in multifold increases in the starting salaries of crane operators and includes special increments to the salaries.
In addition, the agreement will also improve the workers' physical and safety work environment. For instance, the agreement determines that the parties will work together to train local workers for the signal person and crane spotter professions, via holding special vocational training.
Lev Melamed from the Action Committee of the Tower Crane Operators stated: "Defining the profession of crane operation and recognizing it is a historic step that bodes the end of a sad period in the sector. This is a first victory in a war in which the whole public has been losing for decades. The crane operators can be proud of themselves for being the spearhead in making the State of Israel a little more transparent and safe."
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