Trash piles up during Local Authorities strike 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Representatives of the Union of Local Authorities met with
Interior Minister Eli Yishai Tuesday in order to outline their demands
to reach a deal for ending the strike the union began Monday, Army Radio
reported.On Monday, Yishai's representatives met with the Union of Local
Authorities and said progress had been made to end the strike. Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, however, rejected the understandings
reached, saying they would cost billions of shekels and calling the
Local Authorities' demands "unrealistic."
Despite Yishai's declaration Tuesday morning that the strike would end
the same day, municipal employees continued to stay off the job in what a representative said was a "full-participation strike" after Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the demands drafted following
meetings with the Interior Minister Monday.
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Ending the strike will allow discussions with the Prime Minister's
Office director-general with the aim of presenting recommendations to
Netanyahu on solving the Local Authorities' problems within a month,
Yishai told Israel Radio Tuesday.
Union representative Itzhik Roseberg told Army Radio
Tuesday that the the Local Authorities, responsible for parking inspectors, school bus
drivers, garbage collectors, welfare services staff, security guards at
educational institutions and meat and fish inspectors are "waiting for a meeting with PMO
Until then, he cautioned, the strike would remain active. "It's not over until it's over," he said. A walk through any Tel Aviv street attested to the Roseberg's warning, as trash spilled over urban litter bins, and plastic trash bags collected as rainwater flowed through the city.
According to Roseberg, who maintained a sense of urgency while speaking optimistically about ending the strike soon and
on favorable terms, the outstanding issue is with the cancellation of
16-percent value added tax on water. Most other issues had been agreed upon, he said.
Yishai said that the understandings he
reached with representatives of the Union of Local Authorities will not
cost billions of shekels, as Netanyahu said Monday. The interior
minister said that the demands of the local authorities are justified
but that time is is needed to solve the problems.
A representative of the Union of Local Authorities said Monday that the strike
would continue until Netanyahu approved the
understanding reached between the sides.