Unions and Unequal Pay: The Establishment of the 'Family Supplement' in Israel
Posted: 18 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 16, 2015
The Israeli Male and Female Workers Equal Pay Law of 1996 declares that men and women are entitled to equal pay for the same work. Nevertheless, most sectoral collective agreements in Israel afford only men with the right to a "family supplement". The current article seeks to understand the historical and sociological origins of "family supplement" arrangements through both historical archival research and comparative research. The research shows that Histadrut established the family supplement as part of its efforts to establish an egalitarian and just society in the first half of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, through the national struggle towards an egalitarian state (and a family supplement), the interests of women as a group were neglected. While family supplement arrangements could have been justified in the first half of the twentieth century, they certainly cannot be justified in the twenty-first century.
Keywords: Gender, Labor, Unions, Family Wage, Israel
JEL Classification: K31, J3, J4, J5, J7, J31
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