Histadrut's request to strike refused

National Labor Court President Nili Arad refuses request to hold general strike, says parties must return to negotiating table for "intensive talks."

By NADAV SHEMER,
December 19, 2011 05:00
1 minute read.
Histadrut Chairman Eini, Finance Minister Steinitz

Histadrut Chairman Eini and Finance Minister Steinitz 311. (photo credit: Reuters and Channel 10)

 
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After more than four hours of closed-door discussions that ran late on Sunday evening, National Labor Court President Nili Arad refused the Histadrut labor federation’s request to hold a general strike starting Monday over the issue of contract workers.

Instead, Arad said the parties agreed to return to the negotiating table for “intensive talks,” and must file an update report to the court by December 25.

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Both Histadrut and Treasury representatives, as well as representatives of the Union of Local Authorities and the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations, were present at Sunday’s hearing, which was called after the Histadrut submitted a request to the court to hold a general strike over the employment status of contract workers.

The Histadrut is demanding that contract workers be moved to direct employment.

The Treasury has offered to improve the labor conditions of contract workers who work for the state, but rejects discontinuing the use of cleaning and security contract companies altogether.

Arad’s decision to continue negotiations comes after the labor federation told the Labor Court president Sunday that more than a month of negotiations had failed to bridge differences between it and the Treasury.

The Histadrut had planned to start its strike on November 7, but the court intervened and issued injunctions limiting the mass walkout to four hours.

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