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Bank Massad employees are demanding a special "goodwill grant" equivalent to eight monthly salaries, which would total about NIS 100,000 per employee, to compensate them for the bank's recent sale. The bank's workers committee, headed by David Beno, met yesterday with the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation's bank workers division, Zion Shema, and demanded that the Histadrut declare a labor dispute in the bank. The declaration of a labor dispute would enable the bank's 250 workers to start a strike or a slowdown after a cooling-off period of two weeks.

The workers committee also hired attorney Benny Cohen, who specializes in labor law, to conduct the battle for their demands. Cohen said that in addition to goodwill grants for each employee, workers are demanding assurance that their terms of employment will not change for the worse. "Bank Massad workers are concerned about the sale and the new owners' attitude toward labor relations," said Cohen. "We expect communications to open without delay, to avoid unnecessary damage to labor relations at the bank."