베냐민 네타냐후 이스라엘 총리, 중국 건설 노동자 2만 명 수입 Israel rights groups attack plan to import 20,000 Chinese workers

신규 아파트 건설,

주거비 상승 방지 목적

우파 내각은 반대


Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu  베냐민 네타냐후 이스라엘 총리 출처 DAILYMAIL

edited by kcontents 

케이콘텐츠 편집


  

   베냐민 네타냐후 이스라엘 총리가 주거비 상승을 막기 위한 노력의 일환으로 신규 아파트 건설을 위해 중국인 건설 노동자 2만 명을 수입할 계획이라고 발표했다.


네타냐후 총리는 20일(현지시간) 각료회의에서 이 같은 계획을 밝히고 "이 계획은 주택 가격을 낮추는데 중요하고 필수적인 조치"라고 말했다.


이스라엘 재무부 역시 이후 성명을 통해 내각이 이번 계획을 승인했다고 말했다

중국 노동자들은 현재 이스라엘과 중국 기업 간의 민간 계약을 통해 이스라엘에 들어오고 있다. 


이스라엘과 중국 당국은 노동 조건에 대해 협상을 벌이고 있지만 아직 합의에 도달하지는 못한 상태다. 


이스라엘의 건설현장에는 21만 6천 명의 노동자들이 일하고 있는데 이 중 3만 7천 명이 팔레스타인인이며 6천 명이 외국인이다. 외국인 중 3천 명이 중국인이다.


재무부는 팔레스타인 노동자의 고용은 안보 상황에 따라 좌우돼 불안정한데다 숙련된 이스라엘, 팔레스타인 노동자 부족으로 건설 현장에서 노동인력이 부족하다고 밝혔다.


이어 중국 노동자의 고층건물 건설 속도가 이스라엘, 팔레스타인 노동자 등보다 50% 빠르다고 덧붙였다. 


하지만 예후다 바인슈타인 검찰총장은 이스라엘과 중국이 공식적인 합의를 이루지 못했기 때문에 이주 노동자들이 노동허가를 받고자 중간상에게 수백에서 수천 달러의 비용을 지급하게 될 수 있다며 이 계획에 반대했다.


중국은 지난 6월 이스라엘 점령지인 요르단강 서안에서 자국 건설노동자들이 일하는 것을 허가하지 않을 것이라고 이스라엘 당국에 말한 바 있다

(예루살렘 AFP=연합뉴스) 


Israel rights groups attack plan to import 20,000 Chinese workers

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says building more flats will ultimately cut housing prices

By John Reed in Jerusalem
Israel’s cabinet has backed a plan to import 20,000 construction workers from China to fast-track homebuilding and honour an election pledge to cut housing prices.

Workers’ rights groups attacked Sunday’s proposal, which they said would take away jobs from working-class Israelis and submit Chinese workers to exploitative conditions which amounted to indentured labour.

“As with every step, there are always side costs but the overall considerations vis-à-vis the ability to build many apartments, thereby increasing supply, will, in the end, allow us to change price trends.”

The proposal to import Chinese workers is being championed by Moshe Kahlon, the finance minister, who led a reform of mobile phone charges when formerly in government. Mr Kahlon brought his new centre-right Kulanu party into parliament in March’s election on a promise to reduce living costs for middle-class and poor Israelis. 

Finance ministry officials trying to speed the building of new homes say they are battling a crisis in residential housing caused by short supply, high state ownership of land and planning restrictions. Average housing prices have risen nearly 100 per cent in under a decade, ministry officials said.

Israel has been importing thousands of foreign workers — mostly in building, agriculture and nursing — since the second intifada, when the outbreak of violence caused authorities to reduce work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There are already a few thousand Chinese workers in construction in the country. Israel’s trade turnover with China reached $11bn last year, about double the amount in 2010, and Chinese companies are emerging as leading buyers of Israeli consumer goods, agribusiness and high-tech companies.

Shelly Yachimovich, an MP with the centre-left opposition Zionist Union party, attacked Sunday’s government decision. She said it would push down salaries for poor Israeli workers and allow for the exploitation of Chinese workers in Israel, who, she said, were “held captive by those who traffic them”.

Before the proposal’s announcement on Sunday, Ha’aretz, a left-leaning newspaper, wrote: “Yes, Israel is putting up more towers and yes, they require higher skills but Israelis should be trained rather than the government merely importing Chinese workers.”

Kav LaOved, a non-governmental organisation promoting workers’ rights, said Sunday’s decision broke with Israel’s practice of bringing in guest workers under bilateral agreements. It has such pacts in place with countries including Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria but no such agreement exists with China.

The group has collected testimonies alleging the collection of brokerage fees worth $30,000 per Chinese worker, collected by manpower companies that recruit them. The group says these are tantamount to “bribes”.

Hanny Ben Israel, a lawyer at Kav LaOved, told the Financial Times: “When workers come to Israel after having paid huge sums of money, they work here in a preliminary state of debt. 

“This bears directly on their willingness or ability to complain in cases of rights violations.”

Human Rights Watch alleged, in a report published in January, that Thai agriculture workers in Israel faced “serious labour rights abuses”, including low pay, excessive hours, hazardous working conditions and poor housing.

edited by kcontents 


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