Histadrut protest disrupts Public Security Ministry

Public Security Ministry employees hold one day strike and protest outside ministry over conditions.

March 3, 2013 12:21
1 minute read.
Thousands of Histradrut members protest in TA.

histadrut protest. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

Employees of the Public Security Ministry left work for the day on Sunday to participate in a labor protest outside the ministry in Jerusalem.

The Histadrut national labor federation said the measures followed a Finance Ministry decision not to provide incentive pay to the workers, the increasing use of individual contracts and an impasse in negotiations over additional work and responsibilities heaped on the staff members.

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“We will not let the Finance Ministry ignore the workers who give all their energy to the security of the public,” Histadrut Jerusalem chairman Danny Bonfil said.

The Finance Ministry condemned the strike, saying it had not made any commitments on incentive pay or additional salary, as its negotiations with the Histadrut over the issues remained incomplete.

“There’s a prohibition on striking and clear arbitration requirements for salary incentive requests, and this strike is a flagrant violation,” a spokesman said. “Furthermore, it’s unfortunate that the workers chose sanctions when meetings were scheduled for the coming week.”

The union activity is the latest in a recent wave of steps the Histadrut has enacted against government bodies in recent weeks, as the Finance Ministry prepares to slash a legally mandated NIS 14 billion from the upcoming 2013 state budget.

In mid-February, the Histadrut brought out 150 workers from the Public Security Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to protest wage erosion in front of the Foreign Ministry.

The following day, the Histadrut called a labor dispute against local authorities over the use of contract workers and individual contracts, which offer staff less job security than collective agreements. A week later, it pulled parking inspectors from their duties and declared an official labor dispute.

Just last Thursday, in one manic day, the union declared labor disputes at the Foreign Ministry and the Basketball Super League and organized a walkout at Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

Histadrut spokeswoman Dafna Cohen-Nouriel said the recent surge of activity had only to do with the issues at hand, and not positioning ahead of tough budget negotiations.

“This isn’t a political thing.

There is still no agreement on contract workers and the state still hasn’t begun negotiations to deal with the individual contracts in the public sector, and we oppose that inaction,” she said.

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