Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 23:04:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Israel: From settler colonialism to slavery: Bonding of Houses of Foreign Workers
From: “Kav La’Oved” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The phenomenon of contractual bonding of the houses of foreign workers has been well known to us for some time. However, until now, we have not heard of specific cases where there has been enforcement of these contracts. Recently, a number of workers came to our assistance and informed us that their families abroad—primarily in Romania—they where informed that their family received a court subpoena in order to receive an order of eviction unless they paid sums totaling thousands of dollars, all because a family member in Israel “escaped” from his place of work.
One such case is that of Ms. Tut Ana from the Slos region of Romania. Ms. Ana was brought into Israel through the Moran Company, a manpower agency, under the management of Ms. Monica Moran. Ms. Ana left her place of work because of harsh and humiliating treatment by her employer. She also claimed that they did not let her eat.
We are handling a law suit on behalf of a particular worker against a large construction company. The suit is for the purpose of recovering wages that have not yet been paid. This week, an Israeli citizen in Romania called and informed us that he is handling the business of contractual bonding of homes in Romania. He stated that if the suit is not dismissed, he will evict the family from their house. It could be that this is only an idle threat meant to evoke fear, however, the very use of the threat of eviction of the family from their home is being done in order to prevent the worker from pursuing the law suit and the enforcement of his rights.
The Contracts that are being forged with Romanian workers in which they are requested to put their houses up on a bond are based only on the possibility that the workers would “escape” from their places of work and breach the contact. In these contracts there is no reference at all to situations where the employers themselves—and not the workers' breach the contract and/or the Israeli labor laws.
The meaning of contracts with workers in which the terms stipulate the bonding of their houses is, in fact, the bonding of workers to their place of work in all situations and under all circumstances. We will not accept that Israeli employment contracts stipulate bonding of this kind—especially when foreign workers are in question and the practice of bonding is done in their native countries. It seems to us that the importing of foreign workers from countries that allow these types of contracts must be examined, and the importing of workers from those countries deterred.
KAV LA’OVED-THE WORKERS ‘ HOTLINE
ALLENBY STREET 78
TEL AVIV 61022
TELEPHONE: 972 3 510 2266
FAX: 972 3 517 3081