Beyond the Pay Stub: Worker Perks Range From Free Bread to Free Flights

Employees of the Israel Electric Corporation, who enjoy a generous jolt of free electricity every month, are not the only workers to get non-wage benefits. According to a survey conducted by Vaadim, a company that provides goods and services to trade union locals, 40 percent of all salaried employees enjoy regular benefits in addition to their monthly wages.

The poll, carried out prior to the launch of a Web site on salaries and benefits, determined that hundreds of thousands receive hidden and not-so-hidden benefits from their workplace that can add up to thousands of shekels every year.

According to Vaadim head Yaakov Aloush, most bank employees are exempt from account management fees and commissions and can receive low-interest loans. Workers for the Egged and Dan bus cooperatives and their immediate families travel free on buses.

Employees at cellular telephone providers Partner and Pelephone receive free 3G cell phones and minutes, worth between NIS 50 per month to the entire phone bill.

Aloush says that salaried employees receive more than NIS 2 billion annually in workplace benefits.

Other examples that turned up in the Vaadim survey include the free flights allotted to employees of airlines Arkia and El Al; the two daily loaves of bread given to Angel Bakery workers and the free medical tests for employees of the Mor medical institutes.

Workers at Hilton Hotels pay only $25 per night to stay at the chain's hotels worldwide, while office supply retailer Office Depot grants its employees a 10-percent discount at all stores in the chain.

Coca-Cola Israel gives its workers four family-size cartons of the company's beverages every month, while Sano hands out NIS 150 in products. Employees of cable television company HOT and their immediate families receive significant savings on their Internet, cable and telephone services, while Amisragas gives workers discounts on gas canisters for home use.

Workers for the David Lubinsky Group can purchase at a discount the Peugeot and Citroen vehicles that the company imports, and receive a discount on maintenance as well.

Employees at the Technion in Haifa receive free tuition at all Israeli universities, while workers for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel can stay at field schools around the country for free.