Meuhedet employees hold one-day warning strike

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May 21, 2013 05:13

Health fund staffers strike in protest of foot-dragging in negotiations over the last 18 months to reach a new collective agreement.

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KUPAT HOLIM Meuhedet workers demonstrate in Tel Aviv yesterday

Meuhedet workers strike 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Histadrut)

Staffers of Kupat Holim Meuhedet – the country’s third-largest health fund – halted traffic for a short time on Tel Aviv’s Ibn Gvirol Street and in Jerusalem forced their way into the manager’s office in the health fund’s main building on Haturim Street on Monday.

The actions were taken as part of a one-day warning strike over what the workers claim is foot-dragging in negotiations over the last 18 months to reach a new collective agreement.

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All the health fund’s community clinics were closed except for lifesaving departments, but independent physicians’ clinics remained open.

Hundreds of Meuhedet staffers held demonstrations at the health fund’s central offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. A month ago, the Histadrut labor federation declared a work dispute on behalf of Meuhedet workers over the issue.

Meuhedet management charged on Monday that the union was spreading “disinformation” regarding the negotiations, especially via a statement by union head Sheila Ventura, who claimed management was ignoring the employees.

Management claimed it was ready to meet with her, but that she postponed a meeting on May 16 because she “was studying.”

The new acting director-general, Zev Wurmbrand, said he was “learning” his new position but was ready to meet the employees’ representatives as soon as possible.

Yet Wurmbrand has still not received any notice from the union that Ventura would meet with him, he said.


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