Workers in Israel signed their first-ever collective bargaining agreement with Ericsson on 1 July, with assistance from UNI’s global trade union network at the Swedish multinational.
UNI affiliate, the Cellular, Internet and Hi-Tech Workers Union, successfully organized workers at Ericsson in early 2019, but subsequent negotiations with local management for a collective agreement stalled.
The union reached out to UNI’s Ericsson trade union network to help resolve the situation and their Swedish counterparts brought the case to the attention of global management in Sweden. This ultimately led to a break in the deadlock and local management returning to the bargaining table.
Yaki Halutzi, leader of the Cellular, Internet and HI-Tech Workers Union, said:
“When a company’s manufacturing chain is globally organized, workers must be globally organized too. Undoubtedly, UNI’s network at Ericsson helped during organizing and in the process of reaching an agreement. I would like to thank UNI ICTS and the Swedish unions Unionen, Sveriges Ingenjörer and SEKO for their assistance and solidarity. Now Ericsson Israel’s employees are also part of the organized work and partners in this network.”
In the new collective agreement, some 60 employees involved in supporting and selling cellular network equipment to large companies in Israel will benefit from increased job security and regularization of employment contracts.
The agreement also provides for pay increases of up to 6.5 per cent retroactive from January to correct wage disparities, as well as a 220 per cent increase in retirement grants.
Christy Hoffman, UNI said:
“We congratulate our Israeli affiliate on this significant achievement, which demonstrates the power of trade union networks and global solidarity. All Ericsson employees, wherever they are in the world, must have an equal right to organize and bargain collectively.”