Labor court delays allowing strike over contract workers

The National Labor Court held its long-awaited hearing Monday on the Histadrut’s request to hold a general strike over the employment status of contract workers, but it could take weeks until a verdict is delivered.
Judge Nili Arad said there was no rush to deliver a decision, and recommended the Histadrut return to negotiations with the Treasury and employers. Arad said she did not want to rule out the labor federation’s right to declare a strike, adding that if further negotiations did not produce results, it should come back to the court for a decision.
Dozens of activists demonstrated outside the court during the five-hour deliberation, including Daphni Leef, the Tel Avivian who sparked last summer’s protests over the cost of living, and professors Avia Spivak and Yossi Yona, prominent figures in the protest movement.
Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini told Arad that even if she approved the request, “we would not conduct a strike tomorrow morning.” He said the aim of the request was to speed up negotiations, because since the court’s previous decision against a strike, “the Treasury has been ignoring us.”