Officials Discuss Compensation for Workers in Gaza-area Cities

Teams from the treasury, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Histadrut labor federation met yesterday to discuss compensation for employees and employers in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip. The conditions and terms will probably be similar to those proposed during the Second Lebanon War.

Worker absenteeism this week in the affected communities was between 20 percent and 30 percent. Directives issued by the Home Front Command and the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry prohibit workplaces without proper reinforcement from opening, but many factory owners defied the ban on the grounds that their facilities' concrete wall provided sufficient protection from rockets. Thousands of small businesses and stores in the affected areas were shuttered or open for shorter work days this week. Treasury officials say it is too early to say how many workers have been or will be absent from work due to the war, but it is clear that tens of thousands of people are affected. The teams are scheduled to meet again in the middle of next week, when the ministries will present their data on absenteeism. A joint press release issued after the meeting stressed the need to strike a balance between maintaining a normal work schedule and complying with Home Front Command orders and the needs of residents.