Histadrut sanctions to shutter courts, halt mail

The Histadrut labor federation will shutter courts Tuesday over an ongoing labor dispute with the Israel Postal Company and reinstate postal sanctions that were temporarily lifted for Rosh Hashana.
All workers in court administrations, secretaries, transcription professionals, the criminal section, public offices and the fax department will be instructed not to work.
Registered mail will not be delivered, nor will any mail to government ministries or embassies.
“I cannot let this crisis continue,” Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkoren said. “I call on those involved in decisions regarding the future of mail workers to act responsibly and without further delay.”
The Histadrut is battling for more than 1,500 postal workers who will lose their jobs as part of an efficiency program to stop the government-owned company from bleeding shekels. Though others will be laid off as well, the 1,500 full-time workers will simply be replaced with contract workers, who receive fewer benefits.
The new strikes follow seeming progress in latenight negotiations last week, which preceded the easing of sanctions ahead of the holiday.
The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce accused the Histadrut of dishonest tactics.
“The Histadrut must stop deceiving the public,” the pro-business group said in a statement.
It called the union out for changing the reasoning behind its strikes, a tactic that led the FICC to drop a Labor Court petition seeking to minimize solidarity strikes with the postal workers.
“It is clear that everyone who is hurt by these sanctions are not those who are tied to negotiations, but the Israeli public at large,” the FICC said. “In light of these actions, the Chamber of Commerce will reconsider renewing the appeal to the National Labor Court.”