Labor Court meeting ends, sides continue talks

Histadrut, Treasury ordered to submit reports after midnight; Court President Arad to decide on whether strike will continue.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 8, 2012 10:25
2 minute read.
Strike shuts down Ben Gurion Airport (file)

Strike at Ben Gurion Airport 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A hearing at the National Labor Court on the general strike over the status of contract workers ended Wednesday evening. The professional teams from the Finance Ministry and Histadrut labor federation were continuing their negotiations to end the strike.

The two sides were ordered to report by telephone to the National Labor Court president by 1 a.m. Thursday. After receiving the report on the state of talks between the two sides, the court was expected to rule whether to allow the strike to continue and if so, under which conditions, a Finance Ministry spokesman said.

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An open-ended general strike began Wednesday at 6 a.m after all-night negotiations between the Histadrut Labor Federation and the Treasury over the employment status of contract workers failed to produce a breakthrough. Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini said that the strike could end with the intervention of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Finance Ministry raised hope early Wednesday morning that a strike could be averted by offering an additional NIS 200 million for a budget aimed at improving the conditions of contract workers. Although Eini said that the offer represented progress, he did not say if he had accepted it.

Click here for a full list of the services that will be suspended as part of the general strike.

Eini on Wednesday called on Netanyahu to endorse a deal reached between the Histadrut and the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations.

Given Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz's determined opposition to adding his name to the agreement with Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations chairman Shraga Brosh, Eini said, Netanyahu should give an "in principal"  endorsement to the agreement .

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"If the PM agrees, the strike will end," Eini said.

The Brosh agreement includes a partial transfer of cleaning workers to direct employment, transfer of contract workers whose jobs mirror directly employed workers into direct employment and giving full worker's rights to those who remain as contract workers.

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