The General Federation of Labour in Israel (The Histadrut) is the largest labour union and voluntary organisation in the country. Founded in 1920, the Histadrut is the most important economic and social body in the state and its activities extend beyond the traditional concerns of trade unions.
It wields enormous influence on the government's wage policy, labour legislation, working conditions in the private sector and is influential in political, social, and cultural spheres. Although it sold most of its holdings to private investors before the mid-1990s it is still the owner, or joint owner, of a wide range of industries and is one of the largest employers in Israel, currently accounting for more than 20 percent of the national income.
The Histadrut unites thousands of union members in one organisation regardless of religion, race or gender. Arab workers have been admitted to the organisation with full membership since 1960 and it currently has over 200,000 Arab members.
The Histadrut maintains a good relationship with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) as well as labour movements in other countr