Management of Clalit Health Services on Monday asked the Tel Aviv District Labor Court for an injunction against 15,000 of its employees who have been applying sanctions since the beginning of the week.
The health fund workers - including administrative and maintenance personnel, technicians and others in Clalit's hospitals and community clinics - maintain that their wages have been eroded by 25 percent in the last few years.
In its request to the court, the country's largest health fund said that the sanctions are burdensome because of autumn crowding in hospitals and the spread of influenza. Union chief Prosper Ben-Hamu said Sunday that hundreds of elective operations and treatments were postponed on each of the first two days of sanctions, and that more Clalit workers would join the sanctions this week in solidarity with their coworkers if there is no movement.
The union of Clalit physicians issued instructions not to perform the tasks of maintenance and administrative workers such as opening the clinics; only if there were a guard, clerk or national service volunteer would they go in and go to work.
The only health fund facilities not affected are hospital obstetrics departments, in-vitro fertilization, dialysis and intensive care units and other emergency matters.
Management said that despite the health fund's difficult economic situation, it has voiced willingness during the negotiations of awarded "significant wage increases" during the negotiations.