A State within a State: Industrial Relations in Israel, 1965-1987

By Ran Chermesh | Go to book overview

2
The Israeli irs

Introduction

THE MAIN ACTORS

As noted in the introductory chapter, following Dunlop ( 1958), it is customary to divide the actors of an industrial relations system (irs) into three categories: 1) employers and employers' associations; 2) workers and their trade unions, and 3) third parties. Each of these three types of actor may be differentiated at the various levels of the economy, national, industrial, local, or plant level. A far reaching characteristic of Israeli society can be discerned by reference to the major types of ownership, private, public, or Histadrutowned. Table 2.1 presents the main actors of the Israeli irs by their category, level and sector of ownership.

With even a cursory glace at Table 2.1, two main features of the Israeli irs force themselves on us: 1) the omnipresence of the Histadrut and 2) the lack of unity of the employers. The Histadrut appears both on the headings of a column, as the major union in all three ownership sectors and on both levels of negotiation, and on the heading of a row, as a distinct ownership sector. What's more, its extension on the local level ( Local Labor Council), and its national Trade Union Division serve as third parties at both national and plant levels of the Histadrut sector. This structural feature of the Israeli irs assigns the Histadrut a central function, leaving its partners with a somewhat more peripheral status. This characteristic gives the Histadrut a widely based perspective, allowing the other actors to pursue their more particularistic concerns.


Employers' Associations

The simplest meaning of the term employers' association is

the organization of employers, who are free to enter negotiations and to take contractual obligations, with the intervention of neither of government nor a trade union, in their autonomy and decisions. It is an association of employers whose considerations stem from their status as owners of capital invested in profitable target. ( Dror and Shirom, 1983, p. 5)

-31-

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