You Gotta Have Friends, Fired IEC Temp Claims

People with less seniority were cultivated because of kin in positions of power, says Yuval Gad

A former employee yesterday sued the Israel Electric Corporation and its union, accusing them of nepotistic considerations in hiring and firing.

The suit was filed at the Tel Aviv District Labor Tribunal.

"The Israel Electric Corporation prefers to promote and grant tenure to workers whose relatives are employed at the company over those without such connections, and the workers' council helps it do so," Yuval Gad claimed in his lawsuit. Judge Hagit Sagi will hear the case Monday.

In his lawsuit, Gad claimed he worked as a temporary employee at IEC for over 10 years. Instead of being granted tenure at the end of the period, although his boss professed to be satisfied with his performance - he was fired following a pointless hearing.

Gad claimed the union did nothing to stop his dismissal, because he did not have personal connections with tenured IEC employees. He said that for years he observed how his colleagues with family ties within the company had been granted tenure despite having less seniority than him.

"The way that tenure was awarded, on the basis of family connections, smacks of unlawful discrimination," he wrote in the lawsuit. "Not only does the Israel Electric Corporation regularly hire family members of current employees, but it demonstrates a preference for awarding tenure to those relatives rather than to more senior employees without connections."

Attached to Gad's lawsuit was a list of 40 IEC employees at the company's Eilat branch, where he had worked, with family ties with the company.

Gad claimed that he asked to work in the company's production division, which had several available positions and where it was easy to obtain tenure, but was refused.

"What a surprise," the lawsuit said. "At the same time management approved the transfer of an employee from one of the 'major families' at the Electric Company who is the daughter of a permanent employee and the sister of another, to the production division - with a highly desirable position."

Gad also claimed in his lawsuit that when he complained about the nepotism to the human resources manager of the IEC's southern district, Ofer Alaster, the latter told him that he had no control over the company's tenure and firing practices.

Gad is requesting that the court rule his dismissal unfair and order the company to rehire him.