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Monday, May 06, 2013

Protection for me but not for thee

If you're an Israeli, would you rather work at the Electric Company or at Intel? All the non-Israelis probably answered Intel, but Israelis know they'd rather work at the Electric Company, if only they could get in. Combine high salaries, free electricity (which powers everything in your house) and job security protected by the Histadrut (best described for you Americans as an alliance between the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and the mob), and you have 'work conditions' that cannot be beat. Not even by Intel?
IEC and Intel seem like very different companies, but there are also striking similarities: Both are very large - the IEC employs nearly 13,000 workers, while Intel Israel has 9,000; both have offices or installations around the country; both are established companies and offer excellent employment terms; both try not to fire employees, offering some certainty in a tumultuous job market.
But Intel is a private company, and when it announced that it would not be firing workers during the global financial crisis in 2009, it paid the price out of its own pocket. IEC employees, on the other hand, have their jobs protected thanks to collective wage agreements and aggressive unions, which make it very hard for management to fire workers. Intel is a profitable international firm that lives on innovation and sales; the IEC is a local, government-owned company with a massive NIS 72 billion deficit, and some of that debt will be borne by the public due to lack of choice, through higher power prices.
Intel doesn't publish its salary data, but it's fair to assume that workers are paid well. It also offers lots of attractive benefits, including letting employees work from home one day a week, and a program that lets new mothers return to work gradually.
Conditions at the IEC, in comparison, make headlines. A report by the Finance Ministry salary director from the beginning of the year reported that the average wage there is NIS 30,000 a month, while managers average NIS 80,000. Add to this benefits like free electricity, handsome pensions and job security, and it's clear why workers rank this company on top.
"So what if we don't like that company?" said one high-tech worker who wants to get hired at the IEC. "You can't buy food with love."
That sentiment also applies to the Ashdod Port, which ranked 30 on the list. The port has been making headlines itself lately due to repeated strikes, rampant nepotism, near total union control and massive salaries (navigators earn NIS 70,000 a month). Despite all this - or maybe because of it - it shot up nine places from last year's ranking, placing it well above companies including food manufacturer Osem (42) and high-tech company Verint (46). The lesson is clear - it's fun to cluck our tongues at aggressive unions, but it's even more fun to be protected by them.
The rankings were based on surveys with tens of thousands of workers and corporate statistics for the 12 months that ended in March 2013. The surveyors started with a sample of 2,000 employees, asking them what they valued in a workplace. They then conducted a broader survey, weighing the results against what workers said they valued in the initial survey.
The surveyors also conducted internal surveys at more than 60 companies, as well as among university students and manpower company managers.
The surveys were conducted over the course of a year and in locations around the country.
Note that the article doesn't say which company won. Last year, it was Intel. This year?

But what does it say about our economy when two of the top three places to work are 'government companies'  that provide astronomical salaries and ridiculous job security on the public dole? Welcome to the socialist paradise.

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At 8:42 PM, Blogger dwave said...

The big difference is that Intel makes profit, while the Hevrat Hashmal isttotally broke and needs the Knesset financial comitee to hand over abother huge bailout soon.

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Intel is AMAZING!!!


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