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Unauthorized, Unorganized: A Study of Unauthorized West Bank Palestinian Workers in Israel


A Study of Unauthorized West Bank Palestinian Workers in Israel

UNAUTHORIZED, UNORGANIZED:
A Study of Unauthorized West Bank Palestinian Workers in Israel

Author: Casper Gelderblom

ABSTRACT: This research paper aims to contribute to the currently limited academic understanding of the factors that keep unauthorized workers from unionizing. To that end, it studies the case of unauthorized Palestinian workers from the West Bank who are working in Israel. It employs surveys to obtain information on the perceptions and positions of the workers themselves and draws on interviews with experts on this topic to gain an understanding of the Israeli context of the research topic. Both the survey and interview data are used to test the study’s hypotheses. The paper finds that fear of sanctions like deportation (i), lack of labor rights enforcement (ii), lack of awareness of rights (iii), Palestinian workers’ distrust of Israeli authorities and defeatism about their situation (iv) and the Histadrut’s hostile attitude towards unauthorized Palestinian workers (v) explain why these workers are not unionized.

Table of Contents
 
Figures and Tables
1. Introduction
2. Background of Study
2.1: Globalization, employment insecurity and unauthorized workers
2.2: Theorizing trade unions and unionization
2.3: The case of unauthorized Palestinian workers in Israel
3. Research Design and Methodology
3.1: Aims
3.2: Clarification of central concepts
3.3: Research question and hypotheses
3.4: Methodology
3.4.1: Participants: workers and experts
3.4.2: Worker survey
3.4.3: Expert interviews
3.4.4: Analysis

4. Findings
4.1: Basic assumptions
4.2: Findings in relation to hypotheses
4.2.1: Hypothesis 1
4.2.2: Hypothesis 2
4.2.3: Hypothesis 3
4.3: Findings diverging from hypotheses
4.3.1: Palestinian defeatism and cynicism
4.3.2: Hostility of the Histadrut towards unauthorized workers’ unionization
5. Discussion
5.1: Overview of findings
5.2: Implications beyond Israel and the West Bank
6. Limitations
7. Conclusion
8. Bibliography
9. Acknowledgements

Appendix I: Map of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories
Appendix II: Survey in English and Arabic

Appendix III: Script expert interviews

Appendix IV: Survey results

 

Figures and Tables
Figure 1: Responses to survey question 4

Figure 2: Responses to survey question 5

Figure 3: Responses to survey question 6

Figure 4: Responses to survey question 8

Figure 5: Responses to survey question 17

Figure 6: Responses to survey question 17, by employment sector

Figure 7: Responses to survey question 27

Figure 8: Responses to survey question 28

Figure 9: Responses to survey question 7

Figure 10: Responses to survey question 10

Figure 11: Responses to survey question 18

Figure 12: Responses to survey question 20

Figure 13: Responses to survey question 21

Figure 14: Responses to survey question 19

Figure 15: Responses to survey question 23

Figure 16: Responses to survey question 24

Figure 17: Responses to survey question 22

Figure 18: Responses to survey question 25



Table 1: Fictional names of participants and corresponding branches of employment

Table 2: Results expert interviews in relation to Hypothesis 1

Table 3: Results expert interviews in relation to Hypothesis 2

Table 4: Results expert interviews in relation to Hypothesis 3