Strike at Ben Gurion Airport 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The deadline for negotiations taking place overnight Wednesday between
and the Histadrut Labor Federation has passed without resolution. The
parties had originally been scheduled to announce an update at 1 a.m.,
but extended that deadline multiple times until 6 a.m.
between the sides are ongoing, but the general strike looks set to continue barring a surprise last minute agreement
between the parties or a rejection of its continuation by the National
The High Court of Justice refused on
Tuesday to intervene in the Labor Court’s decision that the strike could
ahead. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce had petitioned the
Court, arguing that the strike would cause extensive damage to the
that it was not legitimate because its aim was to change employment
not protect workers’ rights.
In rejecting the petition, the High Court
ordered the parties to attend a National Labor Court hearing for further
The open-ended general strike began on Wednesday at 6 a.m.,
after all-night negotiations between Eini and Steinitz ended without an
agreement on the employment status of contract workers, who do not receive
tenure or benefits.
Eini is asking to allow for the partial transfer of cleaning
workers to direct employment, transfer of contract workers whose jobs mirror
directly employed workers to direct employment, and granting full workers rights
to those who remain as contract workers.
According to a Finance Ministry
statement, Steinitz offered to provide hundreds of millions of shekels to
improve the work conditions of contract workers. The statement added that the
Histadrut was insisting on an “unnecessary strike” that would cost the economy
billions of shekels.
Banks, government ministries and railway depots were
left shuttered on Wednesday, and air traffic was grounded at Ben-Gurion Airport
until the early afternoon.
Wednesday was a normal work day for contract
workers, who are not part of the Histadrut.jpost.com staff contributed to this report.