State Threatens to Fire Modi'in Ezrachi for Flouting Labor Laws

The security services company Modi'in Ezrachi stands to forfeit guarantees it gave to the state because it is persisting in its violations of the labor laws.

The security services company Modi'in Ezrachi stands to forfeit guarantees it gave to the state because it is persisting in its violations of the labor laws. The treasury's accountant general, Shuki Oren, warned that the guarantees would be forfeit and Modi'in Ezrachi would lose all its contracts with ministries unless it meets the commitments it made, to honor its promises to workers.

Modi'in Ezrachi is one of the government's largest providers of security services. The wayward firm pledged in the letter to pay former and present guards millions of shekels it owes them.

In response to the warning, Modi'in Ezrachi promised in an unprecedented move to deposit NIS 5 million in trust that the government could to use to pay employees if the company fails to do so.

Oren also demanded that the firm appoint an external accountant to review the salaries and benefits due to each security guard, and to transfer the funds to employees immediately, based on the accountant's findings. Oren has appointed a team on behalf of the ministry to monitor the correction of the deficiencies.

"The state will not maintain contracts with companies who violate labor laws," Oren stated. "Government ministries must be an exemplary model of proper labor relations management and absolute adherence to labor laws, including in cases of contracting companies."

In an audit ordered last year by Oren's predecessor, the former accountant-general Yaron Zelekha, Modi'in Ezrachi was found to have systematically violated the rights of security guards, and to owe them about NIS 15 million. The firm's management promised to repay the money owed, but an additional audit found that at least half of had still not been paid.

Att. Eran Golan, who is heading the battle for the rights of security company employees, has recently filed a NIS 200,000 claim against Modi'in Ezrachi on behalf of an employee who served as a ministerial security guard for five years.

According to the lawsuit, Modi'in Ezrachi - in spite of its promise to pay its employees all of the monies owed to them - has accused the guard of attempting to "gain illegal benefit," and has refused to remit payment.