Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce president Uriel Lynn lashed out yesterday at the government's policy of deporting foreign workers serving in domestic homes. "The government should overturn the decision to deport foreign cleaning ladies because this policy severely limits Israeli women's ability to go out and work," Lynn wrote Industry amd Trade Minister Ehud Olmert.

The Chambers of Commerce agrees in general with policy to reduce the number of foreign workers employed in various sectors, such as construction, in an effort to create more work places for Israelis, Lynn conceded. "Ten percent unemployment imbues this policy with importance," said Lynn. "However, immigration police actions have created a situation making it difficult to recruit household workers."

Few Israeli women seek employment in this field, asserted Lynn, and those who do demand high wages, rendering their employment too costly for many economic households. "In practice only the highest-earning families can afford the luxury of hiring domestic help," he claimed.

Deporting these foreign workers actually thwarted the declared policy of increasing employment among local residents, particularly women, Lynn said.