Since 1999, KLO and the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants (HRM) have been working to address the labor rights abuses faced by workers at the Yilmazlar construction company. Yilmazlar has systematically and routinely engaged in severe, exploitative labor practices at the company’s work site as documented in our new report “A Means to an End.” The company has a contract with the Israeli government to hire workers in Turkey in order to bring them to Israel to work on construction projects. Currently, 1,200 Turkish workers are employed to work in Israel by the company. In 2018, the Israeli government expanded this model to allow an additional six Chinese companies bring in an additional 12,000 workers.
Our report shows that the Yilmazlar case demonstrates that this employment model places foreign companies in the role of overseeing worker rights and work conditions in Israel, binds workers to their employer, and places workers at risk for extensive labor rights violations with no recourse. Unfortunately, the Israeli government has shown a blatant indifference to the plight of the workers.