A construction crane collapsed on Sunday, May 19, at residential building site on Jabotinsky Boulevard in Yavne, killing four workers and injuring another four. This brings to 20 the number of deaths in construction site accidents since the beginning of the year, with 72 more workers having sustained serious or moderate injuries.
Towards evening on Sunday, dozens of members and labor activists from Hadash protested near the site of the accident, including MKs Aida Touma-Sliman and Ofer Cassif.
MK Cassif blamed Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services Haim Katz, who is responsible for enforcing the labor laws, for the accident. Cassif told those gathered that “Likud Minister Katz has totally failed to protect the construction workers in Israel. Building contractors are constructing luxury housing out of workers’ bodies, and the governmental regulator is only lending a hand to the continued lawlessness in the construction sector… How long will the impotence of those responsible for the safety of construction workers continue? Despite the promises that safety rules will be enforced, punishments will be made harsher, and the safety conditions will be improved, the promises are not being kept, and workers are still being killed.”
MK Touma-Sliman called-on the government to act immediately to enforce stringent safety rules, send inspectors to ongoing building projects, and halt activity at dangerous sites in order to prevent yet more deaths and injuries among workers. “We also demand that a criminal investigation be started immediately and that the building sites where serious accidents have taken place be closed at once, and only be reopened after those responsible for the disasters are identified. We are making preparations to wage a constant struggle in the upcoming Knesset session to put a stop to this lawlessness. We will not rest until every construction worker leaving for work knows that he will return home safely at the end of the day.”