bank igud 88.
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The workers' committee at the Union Bank asked the Histadrut labor union Tuesday to deem their opposition to the bank's purchase by Israel Discount Bank an approved work dispute, paving the way for sanctions.
Israel Discount Bank had confirmed reports that it was negotiating to buy Union Bank in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last Tuesday.
"Despite the obligation to inform worker representatives, discuss with them, and hold negotiations, [Union Bank] management did not bother to address us on the matter, and we became aware of it only through the media and the bank's announcement to the stock exchange," representatives of the bank's clerks and managers told the Histadrut.
Histadrut banks chairman Zion Shama said he would summon a meeting between Union Bank's management and the workers' representatives and that, "if the [workers'] concerns are confirmed and an agreement on their rights is not signed, a labor conflict will be announced."
Separately, the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court decided Tuesday night that Israel Discount Bank workers could renew sanctions, if desired, after December 31, but that until then "industrial quiet" would reign, worker spokeswoman Gali Gabbai related.
The decision came after a five-hour hearing initiated by the bank management's petition for an order preventing sanctions.
The workers had closed down branches in the centers of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa at the beginning of the week to protest the bank's decision last Wednesday to sell its funds without consulting them. The workers also charge that no wage agreement has been in place since 2004.
"The decision provides the workers with a stick, and will help convince the management to enter negotiations," Gabbai commented.