Histadrut protest [File].
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Just days after the Histadrut Labor Federation called off a potential general strike, the union has announced its plans to put the public sector on strike starting Wednesday.
On Sunday, Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn said he planned to call the strike after negotiations on public sector wages failed to produce results. On November 25, Nissenkorn filed a labor dispute on the subject, opening the door to a strike as of December 9.
In the interim, he threatened to file a general labor dispute – also on December 9 – over the unrelated reforms on long-term care insurance and pensions. While the Finance Ministry agreed to postpone the reforms and negotiate an adequate solution on that front, eliminating the threat of a general strike, talks over public sector wages continued.
Unless the two sides hammer out a deal, as has been common in recent strike threats, the Histadrut will instruct hundreds of thousands of government workers to stay home, shutting down public services including schools and limiting services in areas such as social work and health.
“The wages in Israel are too low, and that is one of the primary reasons for the terrible statistics we saw in the last poverty report,” Nissenkorn said, referencing the recent National Insurance Institute report that found 1.7 million Israelis were living in poverty last year.
“Wages must be increased immediately. It is imperative,” Nissenkorn said.
Public sector wages, he noted, have not increased in three years.