Histadrut Chairman Eini. 'Something happened here in the summer of 2011'
Photo: Asi Cohen

Histadrut declares general strike

Labor federation publishes list of workplaces expected to begin striking Monday, including Ben-Gurion Airport, bus companies, Israel Railways, banks and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

The Histadrut labor federation on Sunday published the list of workplaces slated to strike as of Monday morning, including attorneys who will be joining the strike for the first time in history.


The preparations for the general strike have begun after talks between Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and the Treasury budget director reached a deadlock.


The Histadrut is demanding that the State and private sector minimize the employment of outside contractors and hire most of them as full-fledges workers in the civil service, local authorities and large private companies.


Organizations expected to strike

A statement issued by the Histadrut details the list of bodies expected to take part in the strike:


  • Local authorities and the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa municipalities, which will only offer rescue and emergency services.
  • The Knesset, government ministries, the Prime Minister's Office, the Chief Rabbinate, the Immigration Authority, the Israel Land Administration, the National Road Safety Authority, the Israeli Employment Service and the National Insurance Institute.
  • Governmental and municipal hospitals and Magen David Adom will only offer emergency services. Clalit Health Services will strike as well.
  • All universities, as well as WIZO and Na'amat.
  • Ben-Gurion Airport, as well as Israel's ports, the Egged and Dan public transportation companies and Israel Railways. The Israel Electric Corporation, Oil Refineries and the Mekorot national water company will only offer emergency services.
  • The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Beit Hatfutsot Museum of the Jewish People, Habima – National Theater of Israel, the Cameri Theater and Beit Lessin Theater. Israeli Educational Television will also strike.
  • Keren Kayemet Leisrael-Jewish National Fund and the Mifal HaPayis legal gambling authority. Attorneys will offer emergency services only and won't attend court sessions, apart from exceptions committees.
  • The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and all banks.
  • The ORT and AMAL technological education networks. Elementary schools and high schools are not expected to strike.


'Treasury torpedoed understandings'

"The Treasury people are the only ones responsible for this strike," Eini told Ynet on Sunday morning. "(Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu acted in a responsible manner and we could have reached an understanding with him. There were understandings, which were torpedoed by the Treasury."


Asked why the Histadrut suddenly remembered to take care of the outside contractors problem, 25 years after it began, Eini responded: "Something happened in the summer of 2011. The people won't accept no social justice, and social justice cannot exist in a place where outside contractors are being exploited."


PM Netanyahu: Avert strike

Meanwhile Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu called on the Histadrut leaders to find a solution for the outside contractors problem without launching a strike.


"I believe a just and responsible solution can be found for the outside contractors issue," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. Just – because we are all aware of the outside contractors' real distress. Responsible – because we must reach a solution which won't damage Israel's economy at a time when global economies face a serious crisis.


"I believe there is no need to disrupt the life of Israel's citizens and no need to cause heavy damages to the economy. My government and the Histadrut see eye to eye on the welfare of workers in Israel," he said.


Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz addressed the strike threats as well, saying: "I hope this unnecessary strike will be averted. A strike, even one-week long, can cause irreversible damage, while Europe is collapsing.


"The last thing we need right now is a strike and disruptions to the economy. We share a real desire to bolster the weak workers and take care of their conditions, and stop the exploitation.


"We are working on forcing all employers to honor their workers, ensure decent pay and even holiday gifts. There is no reason to keep Israel's citizens hostage."


Tani Goldstein and Ronen Medzini contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 11.06.11, 14:01
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