Questions over workers' trip to resort city

Senior officials in Beersheba are checking allegations that a delegation of municipal employees sent to the Bulgarian resort city of Varna to take part in an international sports competition never actually participated in the contest, but spent the time on vacation instead, reports The allegations come as different factions in the city battle for election to the municipal union. The election is being held on September 8. According to the report, two months ago a delegation of municipal employees traveled to Varna to take part in an international sports competition between groups of workers from across Europe. But shortly afterwards allegations surfaced that the employees had not actually participated in the competition and had spent their time enjoying a vacation instead. There were also questions about who funded the trip and how much it had cost, and whether the trip was approved as work time. Union head Yossi Tahar dismissed all allegations, saying the delegation had taken part in the competition, participating in sports such as soccer and basketball. He said funding for the trip had come entirely from the committee's budget, and "not one shekel" of municipal funding was involved. "Everyone knows that now is election time, and they want to hurt us," he said. The report said a Histadrut source had confirmed that the workers took part in the competition, but a municipal spokesman said the matter was still being checked.