Litter continued to pile up Sunday morning as the general strike
continued into its fifth day, after Histadrut and Treasury
representatives failed to reach an agreement overnight regarding the
employment of contract workers.
Parties are expected to update
Nili Arad, National Labor Court president at 10 a.m. with detailed
written arguments on the progress of the talks between them. The court
will then decide whether to issue a fresh injunction
to terminate the strike
Representatives for the Histadrut and the Finance Ministry met in
Jerusalem at 9 p.m. Saturday in an effort to reach an agreement and talked through the night, but produced no results.
Arad ruled late Thursday night that the
strike could continue, but that Ben-Gurion Airport and all ports must operate as
usual. In her ruling, Arad said that both sides reported making “real progress”
in their negotiations, but added that several differences still needed to be
The open-ended general strike began Wednesday at 6 a.m.,
shutting down basic services including government offices, banks, trains and
institutes of higher education.
Egged and Dan buses, which have operated
as usual until now, will join the strike today.
However, trains will
resume operations. Buses transporting IDF soldiers from train stations to their
bases will operate as usual.
Arad said that in the light of the sincere
efforts made by both sides, they should continue to work toward a peaceable end
to the conflict. She lifted a three-month injunction on the
strike the previous week, saying that there was no choice but to declare that
negotiations over the employment status of contract workers had reached a
Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz spent most of Thursday locked in direct discussion, but two stumbling
blocks remained. One was Eini’s demand that contract workers, whose jobs mirror
those of directly-employed workers, also be transferred into direct employment.
The other was Steinitz’s demand that the Histadrut promise not to declare
another industrial dispute for at least four years.
apparently already agreed to Eini’s other demands, including the transfer of
some cleaning workers to direct employment, and an increase in the minimum wage
from NIS 4,100 to NIS 4,500.
Nadav Shemer and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report