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Employers Scramble to Protect Workers Caught in Israel-Hamas Crossfire

November 7, 2023by Barbara Flynn0

By Kathy Gurchiek


U.S. employers and others are working to ensure the safety of employees traveling or working in Israel in the midst of the war that erupted there beginning on Oct. 7. U.S. citizens are among those who were killed or captured during the attack on Israel by Hamas militants.

Complicating the extraction of employees is the suspension of flights by major international air carriers to or from Tel Aviv, Reuters reported. United Airlines and American Airlines suspended direct flights, and Delta Airlines said on Oct. 9 it would cancel flights to and from Israel until the end of October.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced Oct. 8 that, in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America and other organizations, it was “mobilizing support for the victims” and exploring ways it and the business community can provide humanitarian assistance.

The suffering in Gaza is “absolutely horrible,” a United Nations official said as Israel has cut off humanitarian aid following the Hamas attacks, The New York Times reported.

SHRM Online has collected the following news stories on this developing topic:

‘Grief and Anger’: U.S. Business Groups Stand Up for Israel After Attack

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the bank stands with Israel, instructing employees there to work remotely for the foreseeable future, a person familiar with the matter told CNN, as Dimon pledged support for the people of Israel.

“This past weekend’s attack on Israel and its people and the resulting war and bloodshed are a terrible tragedy,” Dimon told all employees Oct. 8 in a memo obtained by CNN. “We stand with our employees, their families and the people of Israel during this time of great suffering and loss.” (CNN)

Israel-Hamas War: TCS Keeping Watch on Employee Safety, Says Report

Amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, Indian IT companies with significant staff in Israel are increasing their efforts to ensure the safety of their employees. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is closely monitoring the situation and giving top priority to the well-being of its employees and their families based in Israel, according to a report from Live Mint. (Hindustan Times)

Israel-Hamas War Drives Employers to Shutter Stores, Offices

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs asked staff to work from home, while reports indicate H&M and LG Electronics took measures in response to the Hamas attacks, closing stores and recalling employees.
(HR Dive)

‘Deeply Saddened’: Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Email to Employees on Israel-Hamas War

Just hours after Hamas initiated an attack on Israel last Saturday, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, reached out to every Google employee in a companywide email. Google has two offices and more than 2,000 employees in Israel, and he reassured them that the company had successfully established contact with employees either working in or traveling to Israel and would continue providing support. (Business Today)

Responding to the Terrorist Attacks in Israel

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement that included ways businesses can provide humanitarian support to victims of the “heinous acts on Israel.” The Chamber is compiling a list of organizations responding to the most immediate needs. Citi Foundation, for example, is pledging $1 million to Leket Israel to ramp up the delivery of emergency food supplies.
(U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

What Global Firms with Presence in Israel Are Doing After Hamas Attack

Several global companies have temporarily shut some operations in Israel and asked their employees to work from home. (Reuters)

Barbara Flynn

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