Discount Bank workers to continue strike

The workers started to impose the sanctions at the beginning of last week with the closure of three central branches and have continued them with various measures.

January 12, 2006 07:18
2 minute read.
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discount bank88. (photo credit: )


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Israel Discount Bank workers will continue their industrial action on Thursday and over the weekend in protest of the breakdown of wage talks between the management and the labor committee. Beginning Thursday, five regional administration centers and seven business centers will strike, while on Friday and Sunday only 40 out of 120 branches will open. The bank's management condemned the continued sanctions, although a spokeswoman said that despite the absence of negotiations the bank still hadn't decided whether to go to the labor court to resolve the issue. Discount's branches were closed on Wednesday, as 3,500 workers attended a rally in Tel Aviv. The workers had said they would arrive at work but not open the doors to the public, but the management told them not to turn up at all if they were going to refuse to receive customers. "The management said it is not acceptable that they only work part time. What is a day's work at the bank? It is to open the doors and receive customers," the spokeswoman said. The workers started to impose the sanctions at the beginning of last week with the closure of three central branches and have continued them with various measures. Discount's spokeswoman said the sides were close to an agreement in the middle of the week but the negotiations broke down at the last minute. "The talks were almost resolved but that the workers came up with new demands, which the management couldn't accept," she said. The workers blamed the management for the "explosion" of the talks, saying it tried to "dictate" the subjects of the discussion. The committee said it began imposing the sanctions after initial negotiations stalled and because workers' bonuses weren't paid. It also argued that employment conditions have worsened due to an increase in customers. At the rally, committee chairman Riki Bachar accused the management of accepting their bonuses while the workers went without. "As long as the management takes bonuses for themselves there won't be quiet at the bank," he said. Discount's spokeswoman declined to comment on the accusations other than to say that to say the dispute was not about bonuses but about additions to workers' salaries. On Tuesday, the bank said that without the agreement of the committee it appointed 30 workers to management positions after they passed a special course, adding that the promotions had been delayed for months because the committee tried to appoint relatives to some of these posts.

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