Lab workers warn of strike in two weeks after negotiations 'explode'

"One would have expected the coronavirus to end this silly saga and clarify the importance of the stability of the laboratory system"

Lab workers protest in front of Belinson Medical Center, August 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Lab workers protest in front of Belinson Medical Center, August 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Medical lab workers announced on Sunday that they would begin a general strike in two weeks after negotiations between the workers and the Finance Ministry "exploded."
The lab workers currently have two labor disputes open with the government, including complaints of a lack of manpower.

"Sadly the government ministries disparage us and drag their feet. No one in the Israeli government is in a hurry to regulate the activities of public laboratories and the conditions of our employment," said Esther Admon, Chairwoman of the Biochemical Microbiologists' and Lab Workers Union. "In this situation, we have no choice but to start a general strike."
Admon stressed that the Finance and Health Ministries have been "playing ping-pong" with the lab workers for over five years.
The strike would be the first strike by lab workers since 2018.
"One would have expected the coronavirus to end this silly saga and clarify the importance of the stability of the laboratory system, but even the brightest warning lights do not move anyone, from the Prime Minister through the Finance and Health [Ministries]," said Admon.

"To my great sorrow, in our country if you don't knock on the table then they don't pay attention to you," tweeted Yisrael Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky in response to the announcement on Sunday. "For a long time, lab workers have been voicing their claims about the unbearable situation of the labs and their workers and no one is moving."
"The struggle of the laboratory workers is absolutely right and the government should internalize that this is not an idle threat and if the situation does not change, within two weeks it will be left without laboratory tests at all," added Malinovsky.