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In a bizarre twist in an industrial dispute at United Mizrahi Bank, bank staffers are threatening to take their pension arrangements elsewhere.

The Mizrahi workers have been in negotiations to transfer their pension funds, which are estimated to be worth several million shekels for the 3,000 permanent bank staffers.

The bank dispute is one of the longest running and centers on a bonus of one-and-a-half month's pay the workers are demanding in respect of the merger of Mizrahi with its mortgage bank subsidiary Tefahot at the start of the year.

A spokesman for Mizrahi said: "We do not take the bank workers' threat to transfer their provident funds to a body outside of the bank very seriously. Management does not believe responsible workers would try to damage their own place of work."