Gov't offices on strike over bank tender

ID cards, passports won't be processed; B-G Airport, trains to operate as usual.

civil strike 1 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
civil strike 1 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Histadrut Labor Federation has decreed that the nation's 40,000 government office employees will strike Thursday in protest over the Finance Ministry's refusal to alter its tender for banking services. All government offices will be closed, as will courts, the National Insurance Institute, employment services, the Population Registry, rabbinical courts, and licensing bureaus. Specific services affected by the strike include processing of passports and identity cards, driving tests, government veterinary services. Government offices will operate on a weekend schedule, and outpatient clinics will be closed. Weather reports from the Israel Meteorological Service were also unavailable, Israel Radio reported. However, since the strike is not a general one, Ben-Gurion Airport and Israel Railways will operate as usual. The Finance Ministry union is opposed to the recent tender for the provision of banking services to civil servants, which seeks to replace the monopolistic services provided by Bank Yahav for civil servants. Bank Yahav, co-owned by the state, the Civil Servants Union and Bank Hapoalim, exclusively grants preferred terms to civil servants at a high cost to the Finance Ministry. The bank offers cheap loans and doesn't charge public employees fees. The Civil Servants Union argued that Bank Yahav's discriminatory privileges were part of their terms of employment.