IBA Workers Protest Planned Dismissals

Union representatives will petition the Labor Court on Monday for an injunction against the layoffs.

Employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority will take labor sanctions against management in protest of the planned firing of dozens of IBA radio and television workers.

The daily economics radio show was cut short by half an hour on Sunday when Menahem Friedman, who hosts the program, stopped the broadcast and told listeners that the Journalists Association and the IBA's union had asked him to do so in protest of the firings.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority headquarters in Jerusalem. A new corporation was meant to replace it.
Tomer Appelbaum / BauBau

Also, workers who were invited to hearings concerning their firing joined with union representatives on Sunday and burst into the offices of the director of radio at the IBA, Miki Miro, and the chairman of the IBA, Amir Gilat.

Union representatives will petition the Labor Court on Monday for an injunction against the layoffs.

Dozens of IBA employees received letters at the end of last week inviting them to hearings before being fired. The Journalists Association said the "process was not explained," and some of the journalists involved said they heard of their invitations only from the press.

Of those invited to the pre-firing hearings were 22 employees of Channel 1, five from Israel Radio and three from radio station Reshet Gimel.

All of these workers are young and have worked at the IBA for less than three years. Among those invited for the hearings are Carmit Reuven, the health reporter for Reshet Bet in Jerusalem; crime reporter Efrat Weiss; and Mirit Hushmand, the producer of Keren Neubach's morning program.

IBA employees held a meeting on Sunday afternoon and decided on sanctions. They called on management to cancel the firings. Another meeting was set for next Sunday.

"The IBA has started a process of examining internal efficiency measures, and within that context employees were invited to hearings in all departments of the IBA," said the authority.

The tender for a new head of Israel Television was scheduled to be held on Sunday, but was canceled because a number of members of the tender committee were absent. At the end of August, the IBA held an internal tender for the position, but the committee decided not to choose any of the four internal candidates. No new date has been set for the tender committee to meet.