Postal workers to disrupt NII payments, tax collections

postal biz 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
postal biz 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel Postal Company workers plan to disrupt the distribution of National Insurance Institute allotments, and to refuse to collect income tax, value-added tax and other payments due the state, as well as to prevent people from switching memberships in health funds at post offices. The workers are protesting against the Finance and Communications ministries' refusal to give their company a "safety net" to prevent it from losing money as it increasingly faces competition from the private sector. The Histadrut Labor Federation declared a labor dispute on Sunday afternoon on behalf of the postal workers, who have been fighting for bulk-mail postal rates to attract to large organizations. The postal union said the continued existence of the company was at stake, as its revenue had declined sharply in the last year. The company recently said it would have to dismiss 150 employees because it was likely to lose NIS 90 million in 2008. Some 500 postal workers have already been dismissed since the for-profit state Postal Company was formed out of the Postal Authority in March 2006. The union notified Postal Company management it would disrupt work due to the labor dispute and "is considering measures in accordance with the law." The Treasury and the Communications Ministry have said belt-tightening will enable the Postal Company to minimize its losses, so that changing rates as demanded by the workers is unnecessary.