Diplomats at Foreign Ministry 311 (do not publish again).
(photo credit: Flash 90)
Representatives of the Treasury and the Foreign Ministry diplomatic workers’
committee were meeting late Tuesday night to try and put an end to the workers
sanctions that claimed another victim – cancellation of a large UN meeting
planned for Israel in March.
Representatives of the ministry’s workers
were meeting for the third time in as many days with Ilan Levin, the Treasury’s
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The meeting took place after the Foreign Ministry
informed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) that because
of the sanctions, Israel would be unable to host the meeting that was to focus
on alternative energy.
The UNECE, with 56 countries, mostly in Europe,
from Albania to Ukraine, is one of the UN’s five regional economic commissions,
with its major aim to promote pan- European economic integration.
planned meeting in Israel, rare for a UN organization, was to have been
addressed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Invitations to the gathering
were sent out two months ago, and delegates from some 50 countries were
scheduled to attend.
The Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic workers have been
engaged in work sanctions for almost a year, trying to equalize their salaries
with those of Defense Ministry and Mossad employees.
According to the
worker’s committee, their salaries are nearly 50 percent less than those paid in
the Defense Ministry, and less than 80% of what is earned in the intelligence
The Treasury, in contrast, says that the Foreign Ministry
workers are earning 20-30% more than other governmental workers with similar
As a result of the sanctions, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev – who was originally scheduled to visit Israel on Tuesday –
cancelled because of concern the workers’ measures would disrupt his visit to
Jerusalem, but went ahead with his previously planned trip to the Palestinian
Authority and Jordan.