03.12 Before we always thought that when Chinese go abroad they can make a lot of money, and that when we return to China life would be better.
03.25 But we could not imagine that Israelis would not keep their word. We have friends at home who still want to come here. We have already telephoned them and advised them not to come
03.46 It's Motti, how are things?
03.48 Lots of mess here in Oluvsky, all idiots, they don't want to work, I don't know what's happening.
03.58 Listen, when are you going to Thailand, on Tuesday?
04.05 On Wednesday.
04.08 I don't go to China next week.
04.12 Here we are in the land of another country, struggle to earn for money from foreigner's pockets and we have to obey the orders of the bosses.
04.28 If we are paid, we can manage to keep a balance in our mind, otherwise there will be no difference between slaves and us.
04.34 Do you feel that you are like slaves here?
04.37 Yes, from the primitive society till now, it is the same.
04.46 With the fall of communism some 600 000 Russian Jews emigrated to Israel. Their arrival produced an enormous activity in the construction business. Because Israelis no longer use Palestinian workers, cheap labour is imported from elsewhere. A golden opportunity for the "dynamic" labour-subcontractor.
05.07 Motti Orion. Age 31. He is the managing director of "Global Manpower". He imported some 8000 workers, among them many Chinese. At present he seeks to expand his activities even to Sth-America.
05.21 Zarberman flies to Argentina on Tuesday to bring workers
05.31 He'll send them straight here
05.37 I told him it didn't matter which skills they have. Whatever he'll bring will be fine.
05.45 There are 50-60 million people in Argentina, there are 4 million in Israel and nobody wants to work.
05.55 Who builds this country? Either the Arabs or the foreign workers.
05.59 No Jewish mother will sent the son or the daughter to work in construction.
The Jewish mother wants the son to work as a doctor or a lawyer or whatever, and this is the main reason, nobody goes to work even if we have some people who are unqualified, and not working, still they don't want to do the work, doesn't matter what we offer them.
06.45 So at this moment there are some 100 000 foreigners, of which
3 000 Chinese stay in Israel with a temporary working permit. Employment agencies promise heaven on earth. But for the Chinese Israel is far from a promised land. Xue Chen has been here for 10 months, for two months he hasn't received his wages. After a long period of hesitation he decides to file a complaint .
07.07 On the 22nd, my boss told us to go to the company to get our salary.
07.16 Four of us went together, two of us, me and Wang were pushed into the car
07.24 The boss Odet beat me in the car. On the ground he struck me on the chest and kicked me.
07.39 I was very seriously beaten and unconscious. After that, I was put into a basement and locked-up.
07.48 That night about 10 o'clock. I broke the window and escaped.
07.53 I accuse the Israeli boss of kidnapping and physical violence, and cheating on our salaries.
08.05 This kind of boss should be punished by the law.
08.12 I can only promise that we'll undertake all necessary measures to invite all the persons involved and to question them today
08.21 so we can close the file as soon as possible
08.25 like I've said a complaint is being made
08.32 and each of them will get an answer personally, by me or by someone appointed by me.
08.45 Hannah Zohar is one of the few people who stand up for the rights of these foreign workers. She doesn't believe that these complaints help them very much.
08.55 Usually they do nothing, they even don't want to take the complain, when the foreign workers go by themselves to the police they will never take their complaints, so if we go with them they do take the complaints but they do nothing after it. We have several examples, serious attacks from employers , complaints, and the police did nothing, one of the conclusions was that the workers had to go back to their country so they couldn't give evidence.
09.40 Competition is fierce and the practice of actually stealing workers from other companies is not an unusual event.
Aron is a subcontractor operating under a false identity. He wants to remain anonymous.
09.50 Those Chinese people don't belong to me, they are not working for me,
and I just take them to another place, I brought them to my friend. He's the one who owns the manpower company, that's trading,
That's why it's like to take, to steal 2500NS when I take them away
And you say :"I'm a thief ". Why are you a thief?
It's not legal to take people from one company to put them in another company, because this company that hold them who they are working for them, paid money to the government to bring them to Israel
10.25 Two months ago someone called Ariel stole 7 Chinese workers from Motti Orion. For three months now his search has been in vain. Now he has received a tip. He expects to find them today at a construction site in Lod.
10.37 Meeting my babies.
10.48 Where is everybody?
10.51 You don't know.
10.57 Where is everybody?
11.02 How many here ? 4, 5?
11.09 Michael, check how many workers where in the site in Lod through Eiku.
11.17 I'm with the workers now, there are 2 people here in Lod
11.27 Call me and let me know.
11.31 Listen I'm at the site in Lod. There are workers here and there is a caravan.
11.38 Two workers are here, they don't know where the others are,
11.43 How many people in total were in this site?
11.48 Who took them from here?
11.56 Ariel took workers from here. I don't know who gives me the facts; I'll have to write it down each time, to see who is 'The liar of the hour'.
12.05 For a week now I've been trying asking what happened with the workers from Lod and you told me that they weren't on the site, well they are here and Ariel took some of them. Only number 130 and 131 are still here
12.17 It's a joke, same contractor stole about 15, the best workers he took, I check now, this one makes about 20 meter and these one makes 10, so he left them here, but we've been to court, we have something against him, tomorrow he will have it, if you want to follow it, he will go to jail, we just got the approval from the judge this morning.
12.59 When I talk about my family I really can't help crying. They had so many hopes for me.
13.06 They hoped that I would bring them a better life. But now the reality really depresses me.
LIU ZHI CHAO
13.19 I do feel like a slave being bought and sold by various people
13.28 Before I came here I worked for another Israeli boss who transferred me dishonestly. They never keep their word.
13.57 I brought this for you , I don't know whether you'll understand it
14.06 These are the copies of the book outlining foreign workers' rights. Each of you can take one. You can ask me if there is anything you don't understand.
14.20 And I got promise from the Embassy that they will translate it to Chinese
14.24 She said she has made contact with the Chinese Embassy, they promised to translate the book into Chinese, then you all understand
Ministry of Labour
14.56 We did see cases, which I suppose you saw as well, in which living conditions or salary conditions of the Chinese workers are not according to the law and that's why we exist.
15.10 The special unit lead by Orin Carney takes regular checks into the living conditions of the Chinese. Tonight they are on the move a gain. And again their task isn't a easy one.
Ministry of Labour
15.21 Orin, listen there is a guard on the site and he refuses to let all the people in. He says that nobody will go in . Only during working hours when the site manager is here. At the moment he doesn't authorise entrance to the site.
15.40 Do you have a problem to go inside?
15.45 He says that I can't go in without approval of the site manager ?
15.52 Does he have the phone number of the site manager.
15.56 Yes he does, but he doesn't want to call him and says that nobody goes in now. Only in the morning with the approval of the site manager
16.11 I'm from the ministry of labour. I was here before
and I wanted to know how the Chinese were. I'll show you my ID.
16.16 I'm not letting you in
16.20 Whom are you not letting in
Ministry of Labour
16.23 I think it's very bad, and also in this situation, and in front of the camera I am very ashamed.
For the state of Israel?
16.38 The majority of the workers live at their working quarters. The 2 years they are here now in Israel, they haven't left the construction site. A camp that had to provide in the basic necessities was set up in the shortest of time. Daniel Sheah himself has Chinese origins. On his yard there's only one kitchen for all of the workers.
Power Lee Manpower, sub contractor
16.57 I saw the kitchen yes. Some of the basic things are there, they have 4 or 5 ovens, they can cook and warm their food very fast, they don't have microwaves, but that is about the size they would have in China or in the Far-East; and I think it's about sufficient, just above, along the borderline.
17.23 We have 33 workers here, and only 6 stoves for all 33 workers, 33 people cook their lunch with these 6 stoves in one hour from 11.00 till 12.00 hr, they don't have enough time, so they get stomach ache.
17.54 What can you do, force the people to work, force them to clean the house all day or shoot them.
We can't try to make everything like hospital , clean nice the proper way.
Why do they make so big noise of the Chinese, let's go to China and see how they live there.
LIU ZHI CHAO
18.12 Of course my house in China is better than here.
18.15 Here 4 people are living in one container.
18.19 How many square meters is there per container?
18.29 There is almost no space to move.
18.35 Each room in my house is bigger than this.
18.43 When they come to Israel the Chinese are told to give their passports to their employer. However, by law this is forbidden.
Power Lee Manpower, subcontractor
18.52 I think this is something that the bosses here do because of past incidents of workers running away, and with their passports they're able to move around much more freely to work for other bosses, and the reason they give is because they paid insurance and bankers guarantee, so if the workers disappear they're stand to loose 1000's of dollars. I'm not for it but I have to see the need of the bosses also to try to restrict their minimum.
19.26 Most employers take the passports from the employees when they arrive to Israel and refuse to give it back to them.
19.33 And that's a good example as to how the authorities cooperate with the employers.
19.40 We escort the workers to the police station, ask that the police will take the passports from the employers and the cops don't do a thing.
19.58 The majority of the Chinese in Israel have standing debts in China with a minimum of 3000 £. And these were made only in order to come and work here. In Israel they earn per hour 1.5£. Because of this very soon they are up against the wall: they can't go home unless their debts are fully paid.
LIU ZHI CHAO
20.16 I didn't receive any payment, yet the interest of my debts was growing.
20.23 The interest will be more than 10.000 yuan a year.
20.29 Now the members of my family asked me to send back money to them.
20.34 But my wages were detained by our boss, I can't send any money back home.
20.52 People here in my company eat, one worker 2,5 kilo of meat. In China he maybe eats 100 grams, something like this. In my company, 2,5 kilo, it's huge, I sometimes do not believe it myself, how so small, you eat so much? Me in some months I don't eat 2,5 kilo. You eat 2,5 kilo in one week? You can eat 2.5 kilo in one week? You can eat? They eat breakfast, lunch, dinner : meat and the night it's no problem. It's like people who never saw food. They eat so much : eat, eat, eat.
Power Lee Manpower, subcontractor
21.29 They are simple minded, they are naive like they've never been exposed, most of them have never been out of the country, and if they have, it was in Hong Kong or Singapore, in the Far East, so they probably don't know where Israel is, how much they can earn, and I was told by the workers, they were given the impression that there is money all over Israel, if you work hard, there is money all over, you can be a millionaire, you know, they are very gullible, they believe.
LIU ZHI CHAO
22.06 If I had known what it was like in Israel I would never have come here.
22.16 During the last ten months every time when the boss should pay us I always worried if I would actually get the money.
22.32 I lost my confidence in him.
22.35 I am so frustrated my head seems to split open and I have no appetite.
22.40 When I go back to China I will tell my son :
22.48 "Don't go abroad, even if you die of hunger it is better in China, it is too hard and too complicated abroad."