Histadrut Chairman Eini and Finance Minister Steinitz 311.
(photo credit: Reuters and Channel 10)
The meeting between Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to try and avoid a strike over the status of contract workers ended without progress early Tuesday afternoon. The meeting lasted approximately one hour.
The two officials agreed to meet again at 9:00 p.m. in an attempt to reach a last-ditch resolution. Histadrut and Finance Ministry officials will continue to negotiate in the meantime.
The Finance Ministry is also preparing to negotiate all night long in a last-ditch effort to prevent tomorrow's general strike. According to Globes
the ministry has asked its staff to remain at their posts throughout the night, along with the spokesman's staff, and all top ministry officials.
Meanwhile, the High Court of Justice rejected Tuesday afternoon a petition from the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce to place an injunction on the strike.Click here for a full list of the services that will be suspended as part of the general strike.
Eini declared Monday that a general strike would begin
Wednesday at 6:00 a.m., unless his labor federation and the Treasury reach an
agreement before then on the employment status of contract
National Labor Court President Nili Arad lifted an injunction on
the strike last week, saying there was no choice but to declare that
negotiations had reached a deadlock. The court first ordered the Histadrut,
Treasury and employers to conduct negotiations after allowing the labor
federation to hold a four-hour strike on November 7.
Speaking at a
specially convened meeting of Histadrut officials Monday, Eini said he understood he
would not be able to eliminate the use of contract workers entirely, but his
goal was to at least reduce it.
A strike is not the objective, Eini said,
calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Steinitz
to help achieve a solution before Wednesday morning.
Eini held separate
meetings with Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations chairman Shraga Brosh
and Treasury budgets director Gal Hershkovitz Monday. He is scheduled to meet
Steinitz in Jerusalem mid-day Tuesday.Lahav Harkov and Joanna
Paraszczuk contributed to this report.