Nationwide strike averted, but new petition filed

The agreement also improves the pension terms for retirees, while those over 50 years of age will receive better pension benefits.

Histadrut protest [File] (photo credit: Courtesy)
Histadrut protest [File]
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A public-sector strike that could have brought the nation to a halt on Tuesday was averted following a day of intensive negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Federation.
The Histadrut had planned the strike due to employment disputes regarding the forthcoming Israel Broadcasting Corporation, which is set to replace the Israel Broadcasting Authority. The primary disagreement revolved around the fate of some 170 IBA staff in the 40- to 50-year-old age group, who were slated to be fired.
On Monday, however, Histradrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn and Finance Ministry Director- General Shai Babad reached an understanding under which 555 IBA employees will be hired to work at the IBC, accounting for 65% of the company’s work force at the beginning of its operations. In addition, some 100 former IBA employees will be transferred to Civil Service, while the disputed 40- to 50-year-old workers will be absorbed by either the IBC or Civil Service, the parties said.
The agreement also improves the pension terms for retirees, while those over 50 years of age will receive better pension benefits.
“We have reached a solution that saves the livelihood of hundreds of workers, prevents outsourcing, provides a dramatic improvement in retirement conditions and regulates the absorption into Civil Service,” Nissenkorn said.
Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich, who is running against Nissenkorn for the Histadrut chairmanship, said the strike was prevented because it already had achieved its goal of putting Nissenkorn’s name in the newspapers.
She said it was wrong to negotiate the agreement on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Nissenkorn’s campaign responded that Yacimovich should be ashamed of mocking the deal instead of praising its achievements for the workers.
Yacimovich’s political ally, Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel, petitioned the High Court of Justice Monday against Sunday’s cabinet decision to delay the Israel Broadcasting Corporation from going on air to May 15 from April 30. He wrote in the petition that the government was defying orders from the court to not intervene in hiring senior officials at the corporation, and asked the court for an injunction that will prevent further legislation on public broadcasting.
Cabel, who heads the Knesset Economics Committee, said he would use every means possible to block the government’s efforts onpublic broadcasting in the parliament.
“We will give them hell,” Cabel told The Jerusalem Post.