Last-minute Compromise Averts Israel General Strike

Deal reached in the early hours of Tuesday morning on a new collective agreement for Israel's 750,000 public-sector workers.

Haim Bior
Haim Bior
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Haim Bior
Haim Bior

After negotiations that extended into the early hours of Tuesday morning, officials from the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry reached a deal on a new collective agreement, averting a general strike planned for Tuesday by the Histadrut

Under the terms of the agreement, Israel's 750,000 public-sector workers will receive a 6.25 percent increase over the next three and a half years.

Histadrut chief Ofer Eini, left, and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.Credit: Daniel Bar-On

Heading into Monday night, the gaps between the two sides looked large. The Histadrut was still demanding a public-sector raise of 3.5 percent a year, for a total of 10.5 percent over the three-year period in question, 2009 to 2011. And the treasury was still insisting it would grant raises of no more than 0.5 percent a year, or 1.5 percent in total.

The planned strike would have shut down government agencies such as the ministries, the National Insurance Institute, the Government Employment Service, the local authorities, the ports, Ben-Gurion International Airport, the railroad, government companies, clinics run by the Clalit health maintenance organization, day-care centers run by Na'amat, university administrations, the licensing bureau and the Israel Lands Administration.

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