Moskovich, Yaffa. “Ramon’s Leadership in the new Israeli Labor Union: The Histadrut.” European Conference on Management, Leadership & Governance (November 2015).
In Israel, the old Histadrut, or organization of trade unions, was founded as a welfare agency, it employed about one third of the labor force, and it was the dominant health-service provider, primarily funded by insurance premiums. As a socialist entity, the Histadrut was linked politically and economically to the Labor Party, which helped fund it while in power. The old Histadrut was managed on a political basis, and suffered from organizational decline, including huge debts and economic bankruptcy in most of its institutions and assets. In 1994, a new leader, Haim Ramon, was elected to run the organization. Acting against union members, Ramon transformed the Histadrut into a confederation of autonomous labor unions, selling off Histadrut enterprises and assets to private investors, and severing all political ties. This paper demonstrates the unusual union leadership style of Ramon, who downsized, weakened, and destroyed the Israeli union, while most union leaders act to empower their organization.