Netanyahu leaning 311.
(photo credit: Emile Salman)
Talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Histadrut labor federation
chairman Ofer Eini to address the recent prices rises ended without an agreement
Together with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Finance Ministry
director- general Haim Shani and budget director Udi Nissan, they discussed the
price cuts the government announced last Thursday in a bid to avert a general
strike next week. Last Thursday, the Histadrut declared a labor dispute to
protest price hikes of basic goods such bread, water and fuel.
government said it would raise the minimum wage and lower the price of water,
public transportation and gasoline.
“The meeting ended with no results,”
the Histadrut said Tuesday in a press statement. “The measures introduced by the
government do not go far enough to ease the impact of rising prices on the
What the government is offering is only a drop in the
ocean that will affect a very small segment of the public.
our position and a number of problematic points regarding the government’s
package, but we still need to receive the answers. We will meet with Steinitz on
Thursday, after which we will discuss how to proceed with the labor
The Histadrut is also opposed to the government’s intention to
finance the measures through budget cuts of about 2 percent to government
“The government is just taking from one pocket so it can put
it in another at the expense of the public’s right to education, health, welfare
and other public services,” the Histadrut said.
The increase in commodity
prices is putting more businesses at risk of closure, Dun & Bradstreet
Israel reported Tuesday.
The business climate worsened in January as the
proportion of companies at high risk increased 0.25% to 13.7%, from 13.45% in
December, the report said. Out of the 450,000 active businesses in the economy,
about 60,300 are at high risk, it said.
These businesses suffer from
liquidity problems, bounced checks and large losses in revenues and profits,
which will threaten their existence if the situation does not improve within the
next six months, Dun & Bradstreet Israel said.
“The increase in the
high-risk business index can be directly attributed to the surge in commodity
prices, which is pushing small businesses operating in highly competitive
sectors out of the market,” the report said. “We expect the impact of the price
increases to spread to more sectors in the economy.”
Businesses in the
construction sector were affected the most, with the proportion of companies at
high risk of closure up 1.11% to 14.9% in January, compared with 13.78% in
The next most-risky sector was transportation, which is
affected by the rise in gasoline prices, with the proportion of companies at
high risk of closure up 0.46% to 12.23% in January, compared with 11.77% in
In the clothing industry, 18.57% of businesses were at risk of
closure in January, up 0.26% compared with December.
“The impact of the
surge in cotton prices has not yet been fully felt, and a deterioration in the
industry in the short-term is expected,” Dun & Bradstreet Israel reported.
“The fashion industry is one of the most competitive sectors in Israel. As a
result of the rise in cotton prices and a fall in profits, small- and
medium-sized stores are poised to collapse or will be forced to significantly
cut back on their activities in the short-term.”
The rise in food prices
worldwide has not yet hit businesses in the industry, such as stores, cafes and
restaurants, the report said. But ultimately global price hikes will raise food
production costs, erode household income and lead to tightening of monetary
policies worldwide, it said.
“Domestic food prices will rise by 5% to
10%, leading to a deterioration in the condition of businesses operating in the
food industry in the coming months,” Dun & Bradstreet Israel said.