Eini Bar-On meeting unfruitful; strike looms

The meeting between Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On ended on a sour note Monday, after Bar-On offered to raise public-sector workers' salaries by one percent. While the offer was an improvement on a former proposal of a 0.4% raise, it fell far short of Eini's demanded 10%, leading Eini to remark that Bar-On was willing to give the workers a "raise equal to the price of a falafel serving." Eini said after his meeting with Bar-On that on Tuesday at 10 a.m. he would meet union leaders to set a date and establish the scope of a strike in the public sector. The public sector workers discussed in Monday's meeting between the finance minister and the leader of the Histadrut amount to some 700,000 employees throughout Israel.