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Clalit Health Servicesâ€š microbiologists and lab workers in 19 facilities around the country will go on strike Sunday to protest against management's purchase of chemical blood-testing equipment that they claim "endangers" their health.
Clalit members' blood will not be tested starting Sunday in Jerusalem, Nesher Tel Hanan, Beilinson, Soroka and 15 other sites, the union said.
Union chief Asher Goldschlager said that workers are justified in their opposition to the device, called Olympus, which they said would expose them to potentially dangerous pathogens by spraying. A Clalit committee recommended against the use of the Olympus, the union said, but management nevertheless decided to purchase many of them for its labs.
Clalit management said on Thursday that the workers were taking "wildcat action that violates the ruling of the Tel Aviv Labor Court barring a stroke over the lab dispute."
Although the court will hold another discussion of the issue on Sunday, the union decided to take unilateral action, which is "on the edge of contempt of court," Clalit said. Regarding the controversial lab machine, Clalit said that the Olympus company is among the most advanced and widely-used in the world, and has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. It is also used in the labs of Maccabi Health Services, Kupat Holim Meuhedet, the Israel Defense Forces and numerous hospitals, the health fund said.