Striking Israeli Diplomats Gain Unexpected Ally: British Trade Union

The leader of the Trade Union Congress sent a message of solidarity to the Foreign Ministry's unions.

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Striking Foreign Ministry workers, June 25, 2013.
Striking Foreign Ministry workers, June 25, 2013.Credit: Emil Salman

Politics makes strange bedfellows, they say. One such is the British union that's standing by – a group of striking Israeli diplomats.

The diplomats are on strike around the world, including in London, the Trade Union Congress notes, as part of a year-long struggle to restore the eroded value of their pay. The diplomats also have issues about pension and tax provisioning, the Trades Union Congress briefly explains.

The strike, which has been "partial" in nature – affecting some aspects but not others - has been going on since March 2013. It has been disrupting official Israeli government business, including during visits by dignitaries, and travel arrangements by Israeli officials, including the prime minister himself.

Hoping to quell the unrest, in July 2013 the Foreign Ministry cut pay by 25 percent, and also slashed subsidies for rent in foreign nations by 25 percent.

That same month Foreign Ministry staffers refused to issue passports to the security guards who were to accompany high-school children to a visit to Nazi death camps in occupied Poland.

The TUC represents 54 affiliated unions that in turn represent 6.2 million working people, it says on its website, adding: "We campaign for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad." Including, it seems, in Israel.

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