Histadrut Chairman Eini and Finance Minister Steinitz 311.
(photo credit: Reuters and Channel 10)
The general strike will not solve the issue of the contract workers, said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night.
conditions of contract workers can be improved without
striking the economy and disrupting the lives of civilians," Netanyahu
said the night before the strike was due to commence.
no magic solution to problems that have been created over decades, and the
issue can be resolved through dialogue," he added. "The economy is in a
vulnerable position and this is not the time to endanger its stability."
Tuesday, a 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. 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 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
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.Nadav Shemer, Lahav Harkov and Joanna
Paraszczuk contributed to this report.
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