Chapter 23: Israeli-Indian Teams in Israeli High-tech Organizations: A Diversity Perspective
23 Israeli–Indian teams in Israeli high-tech organizations: a diversity perspective Ayala Malach Pines and Nurit Zaidman Background: foreign workers in Israel A total of 190,000 foreign workers are employed in Israel today (the end of 2007 and start of 2008), about half of whom are employed with permits while the other half are illegal. In addition, another 50,000 Palestinians find odd jobs in Israel; only 10,000 of them arrive with work permits. Others make it through the breached border. Recently, another group of foreign workers joined the Israeli job market: 5,000 Sudanese refugees who infiltrated via Egypt. Their working conditions are particularly poor. As high as these numbers seem, five years earlier, in 2003, approximately 300,000 foreign workers lived in Israel, 60 percent of them illegally. Half were from Asia (China, Thailand, the Philippines), 45 percent from Eastern Europe (mainly Romania and Moldovia), and the rest from African and Latin American countries. Foreign workers have been widely employed in Israel since the 1980s. In the early 1990s, after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin barred most Palestinians from working inside Israel, foreign workers started arriving in large numbers. Due to closures and security concerns associated with the first and especially the second intifada, Israel began using foreign labor to replace Palestinian workers. In this way, contractors and industrialists gained an even cheaper workforce. While most foreign workers start out with legal permits, many become illegal simply by losing or changing jobs. Because of the high price...
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