ISRAEL BROADCASTING AUTHORITY employees block the street during a protest against the Histadrut labor federation in Jerusalem yesterday..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Histadrut labor federation chairman Avi Nissenkorn met late Sunday in an effort to prevent a full public sector strike beginning Tuesday over the fate of Israel Broadcasting Authority workers.
If the strike is not averted, all local authorities will go on strike, there will be no public transportation and Ben-Gurion Airport’s incoming and outgoing flights will be canceled.
Most schools would remain open, but not universities.
The Histadrut is protesting the proposed firing of some 170 IBA staff, aged 40 to 50, who will not be given jobs in the Israel Broadcasting Corporation that is in the process of being formed.
Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich accused Nissenkorn of collaborating on the strike with Kahlon in order to help him defeat her in the May 23 Histadrut leadership race.
Nissenkorn’s campaign responded that Yacimovich’s accusation was “slanderous and ridiculous.” The campaign said Yacimovich “cares only about narrow politics” and not solving the crisis.
“The chairman of the Histadrut will continue to manage the crisis the best way possible for the workers, while Yacimovich can continue doing what she knows best and tweeting,” the campaign added.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted Sunday to approve the corporation going on the air on May 15 instead of April 30. The ministers held no deliberations ahead of the vote.
The proposal will go to the Knesset on Tuesday, unless the parliament building is shut down by the strike. Joint sessions of the Knesset Economic Affairs and House committees will be held to legislate the bill Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Israel Democracy Institute called on MKs to vote against the memorandum so as not to participate in a “campaign of revenge and inappropriate personal legislation.”
“The approval of the new plan will signify the loss of a historic opportunity to create independent and quality public broadcasting in Israel,” institute president Yohanan Plesner said. “Every Israeli understands that this ‘transitional’ news body will end up being around for a lot longer. Therefore, we must ensure that during this supposed transitional period, a structural separation between Israel Broadcasting Corporation journalists and politicians is established.”