Histadrut ends strike, makes deal with gov’t

Thursday, March 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Histadrut Labor Federation ended their strike late on Wednesday after reaching a deal with the government, which is to pay municipal workers their salaries.

According to the settlement, the Histadrut is to loan a total of 17 million shekels (about $4 million) to 620 employees in the 10 local authorities hardest hit by financial difficulties. This would be the first time the Histadrut would loan funds to workers who are not striking.

The Histadrut is demanding that the Municipalities Law allow sanctions against local authorities that refuse to pay wages to their employees. The state said the government is considering amending the law.

This would include dismissing council heads who delay paying the wages of 25 percent or more of employees for more than two months. The plan is to be presented by Independence Day on April 24.

The Prime Minister’s Office accused the Histadrut chair Ofer Eini of wanting the strike for dramatic effect.

Eini apologized to the Israeli public, but said the issue of employees’ wages is a matter of principle and called on Israel's citizens to “show restraint and patience.”

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