Eini threatens general strike if budget passes

Kadima sources claim threat is maneuver to divert attention from Labor party's imminent fall.

Eini 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Eini 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Kadima criticized Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini's threats on Thursday that he would call for a general strike if the government approved the budget and the Economic Arrangements Law on Sunday, proposed by the finance ministry. "This is political adventurism which aims to divert the public's attention from Labor's problems, Eini's party," said Kadima sources according to Army Radio. Eini threatened earlier Thursday to call for a general labor dispute in the public sector which will likely lead to a full strike within 2 weeks if the current version of the Economic Arrangements Law is passed. Speaking with Army Radio Thursday morning, Eini said that if the government approved the budget on Sunday, he "will be forced to use all means to prevent this from happening, including calling for a general strike. All options are open." "[Finance Minister Ronnie] Bar-On is repeating the same mistakes when he's already admitted he was wrong in the past. Bar-On's decisions are in accordance with [Opposition Leader Binyamin] Netanyahu's. This isn't the same government. Netanyahu badly hurt the public sector [when he was finance minister]. Why is Bar-On imitating Netanyahu? Why does he prefer force over dialogue?" If passed, the Economic Arrangements Law will affect thousands of workers, said Eini. "I hope the cabinet will not be party to a law that will see the firing of thousands and will lead to instability in the public sector when Israel is already on the brink of an economic crisis." Senior officials in the finance ministry said they were "surprised to hear" of Eini's threats. "We want to encourage efficiency in government offices and that can mean many people would be let go. The Economic Arrangements Law is planned and managed for months. We work very hard on it and take into consideration many factors."