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Treasury: Histadrut hasn't budged on contract workers

The Histadrut labor federation has not budged from the position it held at the beginning of negotiations over the employment status of contract workers, the Treasury said in a statement sent to the press Wednesday.
The labor federation has repeatedly rejected proposals from the state and employers, the statement said, adding that it is not really interested in negotiations and that its real aim is to conduct a strike that will hurt the economy and the general public.
The Histadrut has set February 7 as the date on which it wants to begin a general strike. In its submission to National Labor Court President Nili Arad on Tuesday, the labor federation said it had ended negotiations with the Treasury over the latter’s refusal to move contract workers into direct employment.
Representatives for the various sides, including Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini, Treasury budgets director Gal Hershkovitz, and Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations Chairman, met Monday night in an effort to break the standoff.
The Histadrut said prior to that meeting that it would be the decisive moment in negotiations, but the Treasury said in its own submission to Arad on Tuesday that the labor federation refused to discuss any matter apart from the absorption of contract workers into direct employment.
Arad first ordered the sides to conduct negotiations over the status of contract workers after allowing the Histadrut to hold a four-hour strike on November 7. The Histadrut began campaigning on the issue after the October release of the Trajtenberg Report on socioeconomic change – which it said legitimized continued public sector contracting.
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