"I used to turn tables and today I sit around tables"
He says that his childhood was material, but lacks nothing, explains why the teachers' threats to go on strike are not really related to him, intends to fight for the minimum wage and also claims that national politics does not interest him.
Four days before the Histadrut leadership election, chairman Arnon Bar-David opens it all
Thursday, 19 May 2022, 10:01 Updated: 14:00
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: Arnon Bar-David, 65, Chairman of the General Workers' Union.
Who I am: Autodidact. I have the ability to dive into a topic related to my field, study it in depth, and an analytical ability to produce a solution to problems. People are the fuel that drives me, I Need them, I have helped and promoted thousands over the years
: Dad's parents came to Israel in a convoy of donkeys from Persia in the 1920s, settled in Jerusalem and later moved to Tel Aviv.
Grandpa died at a young age and Grandma lived to the age of 100. Dad, who was an orphan, moved to Kibbutz Beit Hashita.
He is a man of clusters, an amazing man, whose opening conditions in life were not high, and he worked his way through with both hands, was a lieutenant colonel in armor, fought in all the Israeli wars, began his professional career as a laborer in the Tel Aviv Municipality water plant and graduated as department head.
Mother's side immigrated from the Russia-Moldova area as part of the third aliyah, came
to the Shapira neighborhood in Tel Aviv when they were destitute and lived in a one-room apartment. There was a time when grandfather worked and grandmother cared.
Dad at the Whitman Cafe on Allenby Street, the place of entertainment at the time.
They got married, had three children - I am the eldest - and moved to Kiryat Shalom.
Dad always worked hard in town and while working, Mom did typing jobs at home.
We lived in a two-room apartment and I would make their bed at night.
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Histadrut chairman Arnon Bar-David. On his childhood: "We did not have much and we lacked nothing" (Photo: Official website, Oren Cohen, Histadrut spokeswoman)
We were happy.
I was on the class committee, the student council and a scout instructor.
We did not have much and we lacked nothing.
I did not think it was a question that living in north Tel Aviv was better than me, I thought
I was the best there is.
The stage already then she knew what came out of me.I wanted to be a psychologist, maybe because I always liked to talk to people and my work today is also a kind of therapy.In high school I studied humanities at Geula Gymnasium, and I was a good student.
When I was a kid there was no TV and computers, there was hardly a phone, so I read a lot.
On Mondays, when the mobile library, by librarian Eliezer, would arrive in the neighborhood, I was first in line.
When I was the secretary general of the workers' organization in the Tel Aviv municipality, I took care of him when he retired.
Because I was thirsty for reading material, when we received the Sha'arim newspaper of the municipality's workers' organization, I would swallow it and read what Comrade Shlomo had said to Shula.
: I enlisted in a seamanship course and after a year I moved to the Armored Corps, became an officer and did most of the service in Sinai, and continued until the position of lieutenant colonel in the reserve. Some of my children are third generation in the corps. , I was the center of leadership, and from there I moved to the youth movements section of the Tel Aviv Municipality.
I went to a unit manager's tender, then a department manager, and all this time I'm already married with three kids I have to support, so three times a week I worked as a night producer at News, went to bed at three in the morning and got up in the morning to work at the town hall.
When I ran a department there were 1,000 people under me and there I contracted the bacterium of treating workers.
I came from a background of youth movement, pluralism, love of workers and people and for 11 years I was chairman of the municipality's workers' organization and then I moved to head the Maof Federation.
: My wife, chairwoman of the women's basketball league, a wonderful wife and a traveling partner and a wonderful mother. We met at the Maof Histadrut ten years ago, we live in Kiryat Ono and we have a daughter together.
I have five more children and seven grandchildren, the eighth on the way.
At the time of signing the wage agreement with the "Metropolitan" bus company.
"I want to see the workers come to work, to support the family and not to war" (Photo: Histadrut spokeswoman)
: In 2109, after 13 years in office, Avi Nissenkorn, who was a partner and traveling companion during the years he was in the Histadrut, moved to the Blue and White Party and the Histadrut House of Representatives, where major decisions are made, chose me to replace him.
I have been the chairman for the last three and a half years, when the election for the position will take place next Tuesday, May 24. In
March 2019, I entered the position. When I meet with the committees, I talk to them about where I want to bring the Histadrut. I want to see the workers. Come to work, to support the family and not to
war.Stabbings: There have been strikes in the past that could have been avoided.
From the height of my experience, having given enough thought, I want to see how I reach achievements through dialogue.
I used to turn tables and today I sit around tables.
I do not want to sit on barricades but to be in a new, more stately world, because today we are in the front row of the Israeli leadership and according to the hundreds of thousands who join us, this approach works.
The Histadrut had a bad image of a militant organization, with its hand on the shelter, which led to a wave of legislation against it, the culmination of which was a mandatory arbitration law, which I was able to bring down.
Once upon a time people would drive on Arlozorov Street in Tel Aviv, and see an alienated building with a fence, today the walls have been removed, the building has been renovated and families and children of youth movements are sitting on the lawns, the discourse has become much more positive. 50 years ago, we will not go far.
: The DNA change I lead permeates.
The starting point is that jobs need to be successful so that we can demand and receive wage increases.
Tel Aviv Municipality is a great example. In 2000 I took the municipality forward, until then it was not prosperous and progressive.
When I finished the world wars that were there during the Roni Milo era, it jumped forward. The same thing at Discount Bank, a private body, with bad working relations. We have created new work processes, signed agreements with the new and old employees, and today it is in a completely different place.
During the establishment of the Alpha Committee (subsidiaries of the Bezeq Group) (Photo: Histadrut spokeswoman)
: Their threat of shutdown is unrelated to us.
The two teachers' organizations are independent bodies, which are not under the wings of the Histadrut and have their own conduct.
: I set myself a goal to help those who need to be protected and sent many of them to school.
In addition to the non-profit organizations that exist in the organization, I recently promoted the "Learning and Advanced" project, which offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate study programs for employees at the expense of the Histadrut.
The role of the trade union is to promote the employees, so that they have leadership within the organization and do not remain in the same position.
: The two old ants were neglected for a long time by the state, and the two new ants began to be understood in the time of the one who was opposing me.
They thought they would privatize all the ports in the country and neglect the veterans and the negotiations with them were stuck for seven years. I took the ports to me and together with the transport union we signed agreements.
I can not understand why there is no traffic to the new ports.
I am told there are no workers, no cranes and no permissions and the pressure is falling on our workers.
I asked, if we add another 100 workers the pressure dropped?
We added and the issue was not resolved.
The bottom line is that the problem is with management.
In addition to the port reform, we implemented the Mekorot reform, which made it one of the most successful companies, and the IEC reform also ended in my time.
Now it remains only to finish the train reform and thus I finish the treatment in the problematic places.
: During the crisis, the Histadrut takes care of everyone and therefore, during the Corona period, we opened the Independent Forum.
According to the bylaws they can not be full members and have their own organizations, with whom we work collaboratively.
I have no ideological problem with them.
With the Minister of Finance, the Governor and the representatives of the employers.
"I have been accompanying the workers for 30 years and I have never left them" (Photo: Ministry of Finance spokeswoman)
Weakness in the face of finance
: Not with me.
We know how to cooperate with the Treasury and stand up to it.
In Corona, I got up one day and read in the economic press that the Minister of Finance wants to take NIS 45 billion at the expense of the public sector, by lowering salaries, seniority and continuing education.
He received nothing from me.
There were times when we worked together, inventing the purple character and the work model from home with the payroll clerk.
New wage agreements
: Immediately after the Histadrut elections, we open the negotiations on the agreements, taking into account the cost of living and caring for the weakened sectors and we will stand our ground. We have shown responsibility and waited a year to enter into negotiations.
Where would the Israeli economy be today if there were demonstrations and strikes in Corona?
What, not our country?
I did not want to take to the streets a moment after I had my first budget after three years.
The economy needs to be stabilized and that is exactly why we signed the package deal.
The package deal
: When I said that the minimum wage would be NIS 6,000 even before the corona, people laughed at me.
People's criticism of the agreement we signed and the excessive gradual increase in the minimum wage is cheap populism.
I have a 'side paper' from the director general of finance, that if there is a change and there is a gap between the minimum wage and the average wage, it will be possible to open the agreement and amend it.
If necessary - it will happen. Was the demand of the employers we agreed to.
: There is no relationship between us, probably from the moment he decided to deal with me. The campaign he ran was in my opinion dirty and reached low and low places. Only one side went low
. Once upon a time I had a little time left with my family,
plays, and meeting with friends from all walks of life.
: National politics has never interested me.
The chairman of the Histadrut is a position that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of families, this is my life's mission and I have a great desire to continue in the position.
I have accompanied the workers for 30 years and never left them. I did not open a gas company I'm staying with them.
Arnon Bar David