Target: Avi Nissenkorn, Chairman of General Federation of Labor in Israel
Goal: End abusive labor practices of Thai workers in Israel.
Young and able-bodied migrant workers from Thailand are dying at alarming rates in Israel’s agricultural sector due to inhumane working conditions and shoddy labor laws. In a report published by Human Rights Watch, Israeli employers are abusing Thai workers, subjecting them to long hours of physical labor, and housing them in deplorable living conditions, despite reprimand from Israeli rights groups and human rights advocates.
The day in the life of a Thai worker can starts as early as 4:30 a.m. and could last until 7 p.m. More than 20,000 Thai migrant workers, both men and women, are said to be employed on dairy farms, in fruit and vegetable nurseries, and on crop fields, where Israeli employers force them to work excessively above the legal maximum hours, subject them to unsafe working conditions, and deny their right to change employers or seek medical care in the event of sickness or accident.
In multiple interviews with Thai workers, Human Rights Watch researchers revealed that many of these individuals are housed in makeshift accommodations, usually cardboard boxes, located outside of arm sheds. Many of the workers suffered from respiratory problems, constant burning in the eyes and on the body, and unending headaches, which they attributed to pesticide poisoning. Workers are also over-charged for accommodations and utilities, slashing their meager salaries to merely pennies a day.
Israeli law permits foreign workers to work in only limited sectors of the country, which happen to be the most labor-intensive sectors. despite pre-existing frameworks of labor protections and new laws tailored for the country’s new fleet of foreign workers, many Israeli employers disregard the laws and government officials are largely apathetic to foreign workers’ suffering.
Thai migrant workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity for the hard work they conduct in Israel’s agricultural sector. Sign the petition to end these abusive labor practices.
Dear Mr. Avi Nissenkorn,
The inhumane treatment of Thai migrant workers in Israel is disheartening and, frankly, appalling. Many of these workers toil in pesticide-filled fields without proper protection, tend cows and look after fruits and vegetables in greenhouses and nurseries for as much as 17 hours a day. Furthermore, they’re forced to hand over their meager salaries to heartless employers that overcharge them for shoddy accommodations, utilities and even food.
Israel has been told numerous times by human rights activists, groups and organizations, as well as the country’s own human rights groups, to change the inhumane labor practices by Israeli employers, to no avail. Despite written requests and demands, able-bodied Thai workers continue to die at alarming rates, migrant workers suffer from illnesses and poisoning, and Israeli employers fail to grant these workers amnesty from their current working conditions and has robbed them of the freedom to change their unfortunate situations.
I urge you, as an individual with great power and rule over the labor practices and laws in your country, to put an end to these deplorable practices and treat Thai agricultural workers with the respect and dignity they deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ryanwh via Wikimedia Commons