In a precedent-setting ruling given today (Sunday) by the National Labor Court, headed by the Vice President, Justice Ilan Itach, an appeal was received from the Scooter company, which belongs to Tan Biss, regarding its status as a representative organization of company employees. The National Court reversed the decision of the Regional Court and ruled that the Histadrut has no status in the company due to the method of joining employees by telephone – a method that is invalid in the eyes of the National Court.
The National Court extensively reviewed the method of joining Tan Biss emissaries as members of the Histadrut, on which the representation notice was based, and harshly criticized it. It was ruled that the telephone recruitment method is not invalid in itself, but that the way in which the Histadrut implemented it is flawed. The membership form, which includes the employee’s obligations to comply with the Histadrut constitution and even to cancel membership in another workers’ organization, is a contract, and therefore the employee must express conscious consent to call it.
It was proved that in the telephone method according to which the Histadrut was conducted in Bat Biss, the employee received a telephone call from the Histadrut, offering him to be a member of it, and the telephone operator chose which parts of the form to read to the employee. Among other things, the essential parts of the companies were omitted from the telephone recruitment, and worse, they were added by the telephone to a form of information of which the employee was unaware.
The burden of proving the kosher nature of telephone recruitment, especially when the employee does not see the membership form in front of his eyes at all, rests with the workers’ organization. From the transcripts attached to the file, which were discovered in an order given at the request of Let Bite, it emerged that the telephones omitted from the recruitment talks vital details that are at the core of the decision whether to join as members of the Histadrut.
The court ruled that it is expected of a workers’ organization that recruits workers by telephone, which will give clear instructions to the telephones about the details that must be given to the employee before joining. The tribunal ruled that a workers’ organization should not be allowed to make shortcuts or round corners at the important stage of obtaining representation. Even when it comes to employer employees who are geographically dispersed and there is difficulty in meeting them directly, the workers’ organization is still obligated to add members with the consent and awareness of each employee.
It was further determined that in the absence of information from the Histadrut to Tan Biss employees when they joined as members – their decision to join the Histadrut was flawed, because the Histadrut did not prove that it was done voluntarily by each and every employee. Since most of the employees in the company were attached in this improper method – it was determined that all forms of telephone attachment should be invalidated. The result is that the Histadrut did not meet the conditions of representation in the law (it does not have a third of the company’s employees) and therefore does not have the status of a representative organization in the company.
In the margins of the judgment, the tribunal clarified that it objects to further rulings of the regional tribunal, but is not required of them at this stage. The National Court left the low amount of compensation awarded to the company due to an allegation of misconduct by one of the directors, and rejected the Histadrut’s appeal to increase this amount of compensation, as this is a single event.
In addition, the tribunal accepted the company’s appeal in relation to the charge of expenses, and ruled that there was no need to impose expenses on it. In addition, the National Court revoked an order given by the regional that prevented the company from continuing to hold round tables with its employees, and allowed the company to renew them. Scooter was represented by attorneys Dafna Shmuelevich, Esti Nadel, Dana Cohen and Tal Holdstein from the firm of Rubin Shmuelevich. The Histadrut was represented by attorneys Anat Gutman, Adi Golan and Elad Morag.
Source: Maariv.co.il – כלכלה בארץ by www.maariv.co.il.
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