At the same time that cellular service provider Pelephone is facing a strike by a portion of its workforce as part of an effort to unionize the company's staff, the company has announced that it is giving its employees smartphones free of charge.

The company explains the move as a step taken to "express appreciation for the workers, who are leading the company forward on a daily basis." Department heads aren't being left out of the picture either. They were told this week that they would be getting Apple's newest iPhone model, the iPhone 5.

Despite fierce competition in the cellular service sector, in October the management at Pelephone, which is a subsidiary of Bezeq, decided that it would give every employee an annual bonus. The size of the bonus will vary but on average it will be the equivalent of one month's salary. Some of the employees at Pelephone say the smartphones and the bonus are an effort to placate employees so they don't join the labor organizing effort.

Yesterday 150 Pelephone employees staged a demonstration against management, which claims that the number of employees who have joined the union effort falls short of what the law requires of the workers' committee in order to represent the workforce.