Business federation threatens court suit against Histadrut

“We will turn immediately to the National Labor Court to prevent this unnecessary strike," FICC president Uriel Lynn says.

By NADAV SHEMER
October 6, 2011 00:02
1 minute read.
Labor strike [illustrative]

Labor strike picket signs 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

 
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The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce said Wednesday it will turn to the National Labor Court if the Histadrut Labor Federation goes ahead with what the FICC termed a “politically motivated” strike.

“We will turn immediately to the National Labor Court to prevent this unnecessary strike, which has come straight out of [Histadrut chairman Ofer] Eini’s classroom and is likely to cause suffering for hundreds of thousands of citizens,” FICC president Uriel Lynn said.

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On Tuesday, Eini threatened to declare a general labor dispute next week, demanding that as many subcontractors as possible be moved to direct employment under individual or collective agreements. The Trajtenberg Report on socioeconomic change, which is expected to be put to a government vote next week, has been criticized by the Histadrut for legitimizing continued public-sector subcontracting.

The FICC released a statement from its legal adviser, Shlomi Levia, who accused the Histadrut of threatening a “political strike,” which he said is illegal under labor laws.

“A strike that is directed against the government and whose aim is not the defense of workers’ rights is a political strike. This is not recognized by Israeli law as a legitimate professional struggle and is forbidden,” Levia wrote, citing precedents in which the court had ruled a similar Histadrut strike was illegal.

“Only the state has the right to decide which employment structure suits it, and this includes use of subcontractors,” he wrote. “The state, in contrast to the Histadrut, has budgetary responsibility and limited resources and is allowed to manage its employment structure as it sees fit.”

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