Members of Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) are active in the campaign to reduce accidents in workplace and specifically in the construction sector. During the last week of October, the number of deaths due to construction work accidents in 2019 surpassed the total number of fatalities in the sector in 2018. By the end of October, the death toll was 40 workers, compared to 38 fatalities during the full twelve months of 2018.
A few weeks ago, Hadash and CPI activists, among them CPI General Secretary Adel Amer, Joint List MKs Aida Touma-Sliman and Ofer Cassif and union activists formed a working group to fight construction site accidents. During the group’s initial meeting in Haifa, the head of Hadash in the Histadrut (Israeli Federation of Labor), Dahil Khamed, told the participants how in November 2018 the Histadrut signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance, which included a number of measures to improve worker safety. “There were many pronouncements and expectations, but a year after the agreement was signed, and after two election cycles, it turns out that much of what was agreed upon has not been implemented.”
Khamed related how “[r]ecommendations to require construction sites to install safety netting have not been enacted; enforcement of the Work Hours Law to ensure workers do not exceed the legal maximum of hours is not effective; and legislative amendments requiring the maintenance of cranes have not been passed… There are more and more fatalities among construction workers; their overall exploitation at the construction sites continues; the far-right, neo-liberal government is doing nothing, and the profits of the construction entrepreneurs are increasing,” he said.
Related: Posts on construction site accidents