August 12, 2006
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent
At least 30 Thai workers have complained in the past few days that their employers are forcing them to work in fields in the north, even as Katyusha rockets launched from Lebanon rain down on towns near the border.
Most of the workers employed by farmers outside of the northern town of Metula say their employers are causing them to risk their lives. They are also violating the Home Front Command’s strict orders regarding safety during the rocket fire. The army has warned that people should not expose themselves to Katyusha fire by walking around outside during an attack.
The workers filed their complaint with Kav La’Oved, a non-profit organization which specializes in assisting disadvantaged employees, such as Palestinians and migrant workers.
Some of the employers threatened to withhold the workers’ pay if they don’t come to work. This is also a violation of an agreement made by the government, local business owners and the Histadrut labor federation obligating employers to pay their employees’ July salaries even if they couldn’t come to work due to the attacks. The agreement also reimburses employers for their losses due to the fact that employees couldn’t come to work.