Last week the Histadrut held elections for its chairmanship and its institutions within organization. Incumbent chairman, Arnon Bar-David, won the election handily with 77.7% of the vote. His challenger, Ofer Eini, who headed the Histadrut from 2006-2014, received 22.4% of the vote. In all 254,042 people voted (42.3% turnout) Israel’s largest digital election.

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“At the end of an amazing campaign, we achieved an overwhelming victory, reflecting the tremendous support of hundreds of thousands of workers,” Bar-David said after the results were tallied.

“The workers in Israel said with a loud voice today that they want brave, progressive, responsible and honest leadership. The Histadrut under my leadership will continue to move forward, to be the home of the workers in Israel, and to ensure their future and their rights.”

Arnon Bar-David voting at a polling center in the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on May 24, 2022. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni / Flash90)

According to Bar-David, “For the first time, the Histadrut conducted a digital vote – from A to Z –and I am proud of the innovation, the transparency, and above all, the impressive and powerful demonstration of democracy.”

Tel Aviv Municipality Workers’ Organization, to UCAPSE, to leading the Histadrut

Arnon Bar-David has been the chairman of the Histadrut since March 2019. Before his tenure began, Bar-David headed the Tel Aviv Municipality Workers’ Committee and the Union of Clerical Workers and Public Service Employees (UCAPSE), the largest Histadrut workers’ union. Bar-David replaced Avi Nissenkorn after resigning as chairman of the Histadrut in favor of running in the Knesset elections.

During Bar-David’s tenure, the Histadrut dealt with the global COVID-19 pandemic, brokered an economic package with the government that included raising the minimum wage and improving the wages of underprivileged workers in the public sector – especially in the healthcare system, and led reforms in ports and resources.

Medical staff from the Ichilov hospital wait to vote in the elections for the Histadrut in Tel Aviv on May 24, 2022. (Photo: Avshalom Sasoni / Flash90)

Medical staff from the Ichilov hospital wait to vote in the elections for the Histadrut in Tel Aviv on May 24, 2022. (Photo: Avshalom Sasoni / Flash90)

The Histadrut leadership will be elected within 45 days

The chairman of the Histadrut was elected to a five-year term. Alongside him, the Histadrut conference, with 2,001 members, was also elected by factional vote. The conference convenes once every five years, immediately after the election, and elects 171 representatives of the Histadrut House of Representatives, the legislative and supervisory authority of the Histadrut.

According to the Histadrut constitution, within 45 days of the publication of the election results, the chairman of the Histadrut must present the composition of the Histadrut leadership, the executive body that corresponds to the government, to international approval.

This article was translated from Hebrew by Zak Newbart.