Eini: No progress to avert strike in meeting with PM

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 9, 2011 17:46

Histadrut chairman says struggle against price increases will continue; Netanyahu visits Steinitz in hospital after fainting episode.

2 minute read.



HISTADRUT CHAIRMAN Ofer Eini

Eini Minimum Wage 311. (photo credit: Ofer Amram)

Histadrut Labor Federation chairman Ofer Eini on Wednesday expressed disappointment following a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which the two discussed increased prices on bread, water and fuel in hopes of averting a general strike.

"There was no progress in the meeting with the prime minister," Eini stated.

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Manufacturers Association president Shraga Brosh and Union of Local Authorities chairman Shlomo Bohbot also participated in the meeting.

Eini, Brosh and Bohbot planned a joint meeting later Wednesday. They will be joined by National Union of Israeli Students chairman Itzik Shmuli.

The central committee of the Histadrut is likely to call a work dispute over the price hikes on Thursday, allowing it to move ahead with plans to launch a full-scale general strike within the next two weeks, a statement released by the organization said on Tuesday. These sentiments were echoed by the Manufacturers Association and the Union of Local Authorities, as well as the National Students Union.

"I told the prime minister that as far as we're concerned, the struggle will continue," said Eini.

Netanyahu visited Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on Wednesday. The finance minister was hospitalized Tuesday evening after experiencing an episode of syncope.

During the meeting, the two decided to delay a press conference planned for Wednesday evening by one day, in order to allow Steinitz time to recover.
They were expected to present the conclusions reached in discussions over rising prices

Steinitz will remain hospitalized until Thursday morning for observation and check-ups, according to his doctors.

"I feel good, a little weak and tired," Steinitz, who was in good condition, told Army Radio. "I apparently have the flu and was dehydrated. I recommend all citizens of Israel not do what I did yesterday: Not eat or drink throughout the entire day. Next time, I will remember to eat at least one meal with a drink."

Steinitz was hospitalized after he suffered an episode of syncope at his home overnight Tuesday.

He was involved in discussions over rising product prices with Netanyahu late Tuesday night when he began to feel ill and returned home to meet with a doctor. After an assessment of Steinitz, the doctor recommended further tests at the hospital. Steinitz was also reportedly suffering a flu in the past days.

Ruth Eglash contributed to this report


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