Histadrut renews bid for strike over contract workers

Eini says treasury doesn't agree whatsoever with transfer "of even one cleaner from contractual" to state employment.

By NADAV SHEMER
February 1, 2012 02:58
1 minute read.
Histadrut chair Ofer Eini at Labor Court

Histadrut chair Ofer Eini at Labor Court_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Histadrut labor federation submitted another request for a general strike to the National Labor Court Tuesday, after talks with the Treasury over the employment status of contract workers broke down again.

Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini, Treasury budgets director Gal Hershkovitz, Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations Chairman Shraga Brosh and other representatives for the various sides met Monday night in an effort to break the standoff.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


According to the Histadrut, the meeting ended over the refusal of Treasury officials to move contract workers into direct employment. The Treasury declined to comment on the meeting.

“The Treasury does not agree whatsoever with the transfer of even one cleaner from contractual employment to direct employment by the state,” Eini said following the meeting.

He added that National Labor Court President Nili Arad’s rejection of previous Histadrut attempts to use the threat of a strike had given the Treasury the upper hand in negotiations.

Arad first ordered the sides to conduct talks after allowing the Histadrut to hold a four-hour strike on November 7. The Histadrut began campaigning on the issue after the October release of the Trajtenberg Report on Socioeconomic Change – which it said legitimized continued public sector contracting.

Also Tuesday, Eini spoke out against the removal of customs duties for personal imports, accusing the government of exploiting last summer’s wave of protests on socioeconomic issues, and warning that the move would lead to mass layoffs.



Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz signed a government order into effect on Monday which makes personal imports worth up to $325 exempt from customs duties, and imports worth up to $75 exempt from tax altogether.

“When the Trajtenberg Report was published I said that opening the market to competition in an unbalanced manner, while lowering taxes, would harm workers. The protest movement called for a welfare state and what it got was layoffs. The people demanded state intervention and received a state that abandons its workers for free competition,” Eini said.

Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce President Uriel Lynn issued a strongly worded response to Eini’s statement, accusing the Histadrut leader of lacking understanding of economic management.

“The view in which prices must deliberately be made more expensive for the majority of the public, as if that will safeguard workplaces, is fundamentally unacceptable,” Lynn said.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD