Ben Gurion Airport, Hospitals Set for General Strike

Histadrut chairman to meet Finance Minister Steinitz in bid to head off a strike over pay for 750,000 public sector workers.

If last-ditch talks late Monday fail to secure a compromise between the government and the unions, Israel's public sector could find itself under virtual lockdown Tuesday as thousands of public sector workers walk out.

Ofer Eini, the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, was set to meet with finance minister Yuval Steinitz Monday afternoon in a bid to head off a strike over pay for 750,000 public sector workers.

If talks fail, services affected by the shutdown could include Ben Gurion International Airport, the law courts, the railways, all government offices, the Central Bureau of Statistics, local municipalities, religious councils, hospitals, university administrators and many more.

Though the Histadrut publicized the full list of institutions ready to strike, experts believe that a compromise will likely be reached overnight.

The Histadrut members who are teachers will not be striking, therefore, regardless of the outcome of negotiations, schools will remain open. However, the strike is expected to include Naamat and Emuna network of day care centers, as well as Ort and Amal high schools.

Ben Gurion Airport Nir Kafri 13.9.2010
Nir Kafri

Cultural institutions expected to join the possible strike are the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.

In addition the strike will also include the agricultural marketing councils, while defense industries – the Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries, and the Negev Nuclear Research Center will work part-time.

The Histadrut has yet to decide whether or not to put the country's largest bus companies – Egged and Dan – on strike.