No More Pie in the Sky: Domino’s Pizza to Let Staff Join Union

One employee calls the decision 'a revolution of the small and the many against the big and the few.'

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Avi Rabia and Irene outside Domino's in Tel Aviv, April 2014.
Avi Rabia and Irene outside Domino's in Tel Aviv, April 2014.Credit: Moti Milrod
Roy (Chicky) Arad
Roy Arad

Domino’s Pizza Israel announced Thursday that it recognizes the Histadrut labor federation’s youth arm as the bargaining representative of the chain’s employees. The pizza chain had previously refused to recognize Labor Union for Youth, which a number of weeks ago announced that it had signed up more than the requisite one-third of employees that Israeli labor law requires for recognition.

In a text message to workers, CEO Yossi Elbaz wrote: “I’m happy to say the company recognizes the unionization and will arrange for a meeting on the issue with the Histadrut. As I have said previously, let me say again that we saw, see and will continue to see you all as an integral part of our success.”

In the wake of Elbaz’s announcement, Domino’s employees decided to call off a protest vigil scheduled for Thursday and Friday. “We are glad that the management of Domino’s Pizza has decided to recognize [our] organization,” the union said, adding, “The chain’s employees love their place of work and seek to take the company forward also in regard to their terms of employment. We look forward to sitting down for substantive negotiations with management and are happy it has decided to meet with us.”

Earlier this month, Chen Kahlon, 22, who works at a Domino’s franchise in Netanya, told Haaretz she sometimes works a double shift – from 10:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. – without overtime pay. “I complained a month ago to the chain’s management, and they said they’d talk to me. When I went ballistic over it, they gave me only one shift for two weeks and the boss told me that if I didn’t like it, I could quit.”

Employees complained of receiving little more than minimum wage plus tips, even after years of work, and claimed the company’s delivery scooters did not always meet safety requirements. “You don’t have a choice. Sometimes deliveries go out on a scooter with no mirror,” said Grisha Feinberg, from Be’er Sheva.

In a statement issued at the time, Domino’s said: “The company follows the law, pays its workers all that is required and demanded by law. To say anything else is a lie and is grounds for libel. Domino’s Pizza maintains its fleet of motor scooters to a much higher standard than the industry average. All the scooters receive weekly care, including absolute maintenance of personal safety.”

The recognition by Domino’s Pizza Israel of its employees’ unionization effort follows similar actions by workers at Pizza Hut Israel and McDonald’s Israel. “It’s a revolution of the small and the many against the big and the few,” said Avi Rabia of Domino’s in Tel Aviv last Thursday. Rabia is a leader of the chain’s labor organization efforts. “We proved that the little worker is not a cog in the managers’ machine. We won after struggles and battles with management. We will fight with all our power and determination” until the conditions of the chain’s employees improve, Rabia said.

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