Mizrahi extends union contract for two years

United Mizrahi Bank has extended the collective agreement with its employees for two years, thus removing one source of tension between management and the union but leaving other disputes unresolved.
The issue had led to a one-day strike before the holiday period, because although the management had wanted to extend the accord by five years, it also wanted to introduce changes regarding matters such as the firing of workers and the granting of bonuses following the amalgamation between Mizrahi and its Bank Tefahot mortgage unit, a union spokesman said. The union prefers to resolve these issues outside the collective agreement.
Mizrahi spokesman Benny Shoukron rejected the union's explanation and said the two-year agreement is the same as the one for five years.
Nonetheless, union chairwoman Sarah Leizarovich welcomed the extension of the pact and expressed a desire to resolve the other points of disagreement.
"We all hope that we can now arrive at agreements on all the other outstanding issues and end the labor dispute at the bank," she said.
Industrial unrest has plagued Mizrahi for more than a year because of opposition to the amalgamation with Tefahot and the consequent layoffs, and the bank has suffered several strikes.
Despite the news of the agreement, Mizrahi shares closed down 0.1% at NIS 23.13 on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.