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Histadrut negotiates a return to work plan that saves jobs and protects income


Histadrut negotiates a return to work plan that saves jobs and protects income

Partner is the first Israeli telecoms company to fully reopen its offices after the Covid-19 lockdown, and a new contract between the company and union Histadrut secures several provisions to protect workers’ jobs and incomes in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.

All of the 930 employees, 31 per cent of the workforce of Partner Communications, who were on unpaid leave will return to work immediately thanks to the contract, finalized on 14 May.

“This deal is another example showing how important collective bargaining is during this crisis,” said Teresa Casertano, Head of UNI ICTS. “The cooperation between Partner and Histadrut demonstrates that jobs can be protected, even in the worst of times.”

The contract includes an expanded work-from-home policy and establishes a vacation time fund to help ensure workers who used up their paid time off during the crisis can take annual leave, two benefits intended to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The deal also distributes the budget for a cancelled annual staff trip to employees who were on unpaid leave during the lockdown. Thanks to the savings measures reached by the union and management, the company was able to commit to not implement downsizing, layoffs or re-organization until at least the end of the year.

Histadrut Chairman, Arnon Bar-David: “Partner and the Histadrut prove once again that good collective labor relations can result in dialogue and cooperation that yield responsible conduct. COVID-19 posed an unprecedented crisis to Israeli society and its workplaces, but all sides understood that the only path forward from here is up, and signed an agreement that creatively and cleverly copes with the situation forced upon all of us.”