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Heavy Fines in Sight for Illegal Labor Brokers: Amendment Proposed to Law

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Illegal labor brokers are in for stiffer penalties under a proposed bill initiated this week by the Labor Ministry to curb the flow of unregistered workers from the administered territories into Israel. Under a proposed amendment to the Employment Services Law–soon to be introduced in the Knesset–persons engaged in supplying unregistered workers from the areas to Israeli employers would be subject to heavy fines–five times those now prescribed by law.

Beyond this the employers would be fined IL 100 a day for each worker who is kept on the Job. Any one operating a vehicle carrying unregistered workers to an employer can be considered as violating the law unless he can prove his passengers have been referred by an official Labor Exchange.

Meanwhile, Aharon Sasson, secretary of the Jerusalem Construction Workers Union, charged that Arab sub-contractors from the West Bank are competing unfairly for building jobs in the capital. He said that more than 70 of these contractors are making 1500 unregistered workers available to Jerusalem builders. Because they don’t enjoy the social benefits and protection afforded by law they work for less money and thereby harm the organized workers, Sasson said.

According to Moshe Shaleff, director of the Jerusalem Labor Exchange, there are 8000 Arab workers from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip working in Jerusalem.

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