Another incredible win for refugees!

14/06/2018

“I expect you to accept asylum seekers as members of the Histadrut [Israel’s largest trade union]. Trade unions have always fought to protect the most vulnerable in our society – please, live up to your mission.”

This is the letter sent to Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn by Zazim member Daphna, following the requests of dozens of refugees to join the trade union. Over 2,600 Zazim members joined Daphna and sent letters to Nissenkorn calling him to accept the refugees’ request – and today we finally received the good news: their request has been accepted!

This was a long and complex fight: At first, the Histadrut management denied the requests on “technical grounds” – but the Hadash [Israel’s communist party] members of the Histadrut and the refugees who led this fight refused to give up. They knew that international conventions require trade unions like the Histadrut to accept all workers – including asylum seekers and refugees – and took the case to the union court. And we won! The Histadrut will accept asylum seekers as members, and grant them protections just like any other worker!

This is another critical win in the fight for the rights of African refugees in Israel – and the determination of the activists in the Histadrut, the refugees, and the thousands of Zazim members who took part tipped the scale. Together we will continue fighting for a more just future for refugees, workers – and all of us.