In a meeting today between Arnon Bar David, Chair of the Histadrut, and president of Israel's Chamber of Independent Organizations and Businesses Roee Cohen, the two announced their intentions to explore common ways to support self-employed and freelancers in Israel who have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Chairman of the Histadrut and the President of Lahav sharply criticized the government's bailout programs, stating that: "After fifty days of empty promises and idle plans, the time has come to realize the pledge. Funds raised for the crisis should be activated, and compensation for the decline in turnover and drop in the volume of business activity needs to be fulfilled. It is crucial to give financial air to the self-employed and to ensure that they can survive."
The self-employed and small business owners have been protesting increasingly in recent weeks, demanding further support in order to avoid a wave of bankruptcies. The protesters have called for "Dramatic measures to save hundreds of thousands of civilians, and yet the situation remains unanswered by the government" said Cohen.
Bar-David and Cohen issued a joint demand to the government to ensure immediate payment of unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, according to the same rules and rights of employed workers. "As long as the businesses are closed, according to the State's instruction, and the employees entitled to unemployment benefits during the furlough, the business owners also need to be taken care of."
The parties agreed to tighten the cooperation, to ensure that the workers and the self-employed in Israel can return to a functioning economy.
Brought to press with the help of the International Relations Division of the Histadrut