Pelephone stated: "Pelephone is the only company on the market that employs such a high number of disabled employees and sees 'Call Yachol' as a national community project. We founded it and supported it nearly from day one for five years at a cost of NIS 20 million ($4.96 million)
Some 200 disabled employees are employed by Pelephone through the Call Yachol venture. The company stated that it hoped the government would help with funding and add it to the list of projects of national priority.On Sunday dozens of Call Yachol employees, were set to be let go due to Pelephone's to discontinue its use of Call Yachol, as part of the company's restructuring. As a result, many Call Yachol employees, including people with physical and mental disbilities, were facing a return to welfare. .
Restructuring throughout theIsraeli industry will affect employees at the Motorola mobility development center in Netanya, which is about to shut down, and employees of the Sderot municipality, which has announced it will be firing dozens.
The Israeli Call Yachol enterprise, which provides outsourcing services to companies, has become a role model drawing European entrepreneurs interested in the initiative – hiring people with disabilities as service providers.
Some in wheel chairs, some with PTSD, others with CP, paraplegics, blind and deaf people – all are people who do not usually find employment easily, but were able to provide for themselves under the Call Yachol enterprise (Call Yachol is Hebrew for omnipotent).
Idan Goldberger was until recently a manager in Call Yachol. "This is the only company in the world with a business model that depends on people with disabilities," he said. "Not as part of a charity organization or a voluntary association, but a conventional work place. This," Goldberger continues, "is one of the best work forces I have ever had the privilege of managing."
When asked about the plan to lay off employees Goldberger said: "I resent Pelephone's decision because they've benefitted from the charitable image, showing off employees and awards they've received due to hiring them, but we still have to remember that they were the first customers of Call Yachol four years ago. I still feel this isn’t the right way to go about restructuring, because these are excellent workers."
The Israeli cellular market has been dramatically destabilized in the past few months, but this move seems to be the first in a flood of layoffs. In the past few days, it has become known that the Sderot Municipality will be letting many employees go, as will Motorola Mobility.