Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Ministry Budgets Director Gal Hershkovitz were set to meet late Saturday night in an effort to avert the general strike declared by Eini for Monday morning. Eini and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz met on Friday afternoon, but failed to come to find a resolution over the latter’s demands on the employment status of contract workers.
The strike is scheduled to begin Monday at 6:00 A.M., and will cover airports, seaports, local authorities, government offices and other areas of the public sector. Full details of the strike will be published Sunday, the Histadrut labor federation said.
Steinitz told Channel 2’s “Meet the Press” Saturday evening that the government was making a big effort to halt what he called “a completely unnecessary strike.” He said he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were ready to raise the minimum wage for contract workers and to strengthen protection of their rights, but added that they would not do anything that could harm the economy.
“We are ready to take the models of advanced welfare states like Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. In Sweden cleaning and guard work is done by contract workers, but in Sweden they also protect the workers’ rights at all costs,” Steinitz said. However, he added that cleaning and security companies service the public sector in every OECD member country, without exception.