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Chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, MK Amir Peretz (Labor) has given his approval to an all-out strike at Clubmarket, the third largest supermarket chain, which is currently under bankruptcy protection.

The staffers at 114 Clubmarket stores, which object to the highest bid of almost NIS 1 billion for the chain that came from archrival, market leader Supersol, planned to strike today but were persuaded to hold off until tomorrow.

Clubmarket workers committee chairman Albert Ashur said the postponement was to allow the chain's court-appointed trustees Gabi Trabelsi and Shlomo Nass to decide which of the six bids they would be recommending to the court.

The two prefer the Supersol bid, assuming it passes the approval of the Antitrust Commission. Ashur noted that the Histadrut's backing of the strike dispensed with the two-week "cooling-off" period.

Clubmarket workers claim they will be losing their terms and benefits according to their collective work agreements under Supersol's bid, while Supersol has said it is prepared to take on all Clubmarket staffers, albeit under its own collective work agreements, and categorized as "new workers."

Hypershuk in trouble

Meanwhile, Hypershuk appealed to Tel Aviv District Court Thursday claiming that Clubmarket's protective status threatens its own livelihood as it is completely dependent on Clubmarket for the rent it collects on five outlets in Rishon Letzion, Ramle, Afula, Glilot and Ashkelon.

Once Clubmarket was granted court protection, Hypershuk - worried over its own situation and owed some NIS 1.5 million in rent from Clubmarket - signed several rental contracts with Supersol, only to find that Supersol is now the favored contender to buy out the troubled chain.

Hypershuk is owned equally by Nochi Dankner's IDB Development and Tnuva. Dankner is also one of the owners of Supersol.

Trabelsi and Nass forbade the two largest retailers - Supersol and Blue Square - from signing rental contracts on Clubmarket sites, until the court hearing on the company sale.

Supersol argued in court that it understood Hypershuk's predicament and that the time was right for the matter to be discussed. "Supersol did not intervene nor did it intend to interfere in the relations between the renter and Clubmarket," the company said.