Histadrut threatens to declare partial strike at opera

Singers and other opera workers demanding collective bargaining and better work conditions for employees.

May 18, 2011 05:23
1 minute read.
Israel National Opera rehearse Verdi’s Nabucco

Israel National Opera 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The Histadrut labor federation told executives of the Israeli National Opera on Tuesday that it will call for a partial work stoppage there over what it said was management’s refusal to answer demands for collective bargaining and better work conditions for employees.

In April, the Histadrut informed opera head Hannah Monitz that it would be representing singers and other opera workers, and asked to negotiate an agreement on work conditions and job security based on collective bargaining.

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In a letter sent to the opera this week, the Histadrut’s legal department said it had never received an answer, adding that if there is no response by this Thursday, a work stoppage would go into effect.

Miriam Mondari, head of the National Opera workers’ committee, said Tuesday that “all we want is to anchor our employment conditions under a collective bargaining agreement. We do not want to get to a situation wherein we are compelled to take organized steps.”

The workers have argued that they are paid only per project, that their salaries do not reflect seniority, and that they do not have job security and work under extremely difficult conditions and schedules.

They also said they receive no compensation for travel, a situation they called particularly difficult for those taking part in performances at Masada, some two hours away from where the actors are hosted in Jerusalem.

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