The Histadrtut Labor Federation on Tuesday called for a general strike on July 22 should it fail to negotiate an agreement with the Finance Ministry over contract workers.
Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissankorn said that the public sector employs roughly half of Israel's 200,000 contract workers, who have less job security and fewer benefits than their salaried counterparts.
The government argues that some positions are not regular or full-time positions, and require the flexibility to hire people on a temporary contract basis. The Histadrut argues that the scheme has been used to take advantage of regular workers, who are kept on a series of temporary contracts instead of simply being hired as full workers.
A general strike, which shuts down all non-emergency public services, could have harsh implications for the economy, especially during the important summer tourist season. It would ground flights, stop public transport and shutter government services, among other things.
Several recent threatened general strikes have been avoided when agreements were reached on issues such as increasing the minimum wage and the fate of dozens of laid off workers at Israel Chemicals.