Just hours after the Histadrut labor federation instructed municipal inspectors
in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa not to issue parking tickets from 1
p.m. until the end of the day Wednesday, the union declared a labor
dispute with local government authorities.
Both actions were motivated by
what the Histadrut called a breakdown in negotiations over additional management
payments for workers.
According to the Histadrut, an agreement signed in
May 2012 promised retroactive payment to eligible municipal workers hired from
March, 1999 onward by October 2012, while the criteria for payment would be
finalized in separate negotiations.
Those negotiations had stalled, they
said, leading them to first call parking inspectors away from work to attend
“informational meetings,” and then to declare a formal dispute, which opens the
door to further action in two weeks.
“It is inconceivable that the Union
of Local Authorities in Israel signs an agreement on the one hand, and rejects
its application,” said Arnon Ben- David, chairman of the Histadrut’s branch of
Clerks, Administrative Public Service Employees, who called Wednesday’s
The labor dispute is the Histadut’s second
against local authorities in less than a week.
Union of Local Authorities
Chairman Shlomo Buhbut said the Histadrut’s actions were “purposeless” and
“Preventing budget cuts for the local authorities is the
real war,” he said. “Trying to discuss salary increases at a time of budget
crisis is a total disconnected from reality.”
That sentiment did not stop
Buhbut from proposing his own anti-austerity battles.
Instead of harming
workers with labor dispute, he said, the Histadrut should join forces with the
Union of Local Authorities against the Finance Ministry to prevent budget
“I propose to Ofer Eini, chairman of the Histadrut, to build a
common front,” he said, adding that the Finance Ministry should not be allowed
to divide and conquer the two unions. “This is the time to protect workers, not
to hurt them.”
The local authorities, he said, had lived up to all their
promises, and called on Ben-David to return to negotiations.
authorities also vowed not to pay the parking inspectors for the half-day they
abandoned in their posts.