A trade union established in Haifa in 1920 in order to organize workers in their quest for better pay and working conditions. It became the most important Jewish grass‐roots movement, and provided invaluable support for Mapai and the Jewish Agency. In the absence of a Jewish state, it assumed widespread responsibilities for its members' health care and protection against poverty, while it provided crucial economic services such as banking, the marketing of members' products, etc. It maintained many of these functions after the creation of the state of Israel, in which it assumed a position of overwhelming economic importance, thanks to its alliance with Mapai and the Labour Party, which dominated Israeli politics until 1977. As a result, it became Israel's biggest employer, owning the country's largest bank and its largest health insurance fund. The organization declined sharply from the 1980s, losing a majority of its membership. The Histadrut had had its social and cultural base amongst European Jewish immigrants, and proved unable to appeal to the influx of citizens from other parts of the world, notably Africa and the Middle East.http://www.histadrut.org.il/The official website of Histadrut.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).