Histadrut protest [File].
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Histadrut labor federation on Sunday threatened a general strike, accusing the Finance Ministry of harming those with long-term care health insurance and those insured through new pension funds.
Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn called a meeting of the union’s representative body to approve a labor dispute on the matter for Wednesday. If the dispute is approved, it will begin a two-week countdown to a legal general labor strike.
In the event of a general strike, a large part of the economy will cease to function, as schools, universities, public transport, government offices and the ports will stop work. In recent years, such strikes have seldom taken place, as the Histadrut has managed to reach a negotiated deal.
Nissenkorn said the escalation follows the Finance Ministry’s refusal to postpone a reform in the insurance sector that he says would leave current beneficiaries in the cold. He also said that pension reforms would increase risk to pensioners’ investments.
The Histadrut is not the only organization giving Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon grief over his approach to pension reforms. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), often at odds with the Histadrut, said reforms meant to ease the burden on workers will push NIS 400 million worth of pension costs onto employers, and cost 5,000 jobs.