Histadrut Mulls General Strike Next Week Over Unpaid Wages

Labor federation chair Ofer Eini: Government's handling of unpaid salaries is scandalous.

The chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, Ofer Eini, will convene leaders of public sector unions and committees on Sunday to decide whether to hold a general strike next week.

The strike would extend to government offices, local municipalities, ports and other public services.

Eini said on Tuesday that he decided to "shake up" the economy since a solution has still not been found for the problem of postponed salary payments for tens of thousands municipal workers from local and religious authorities.

Eini said that "there is no escaping the decision to take harsh measures. Our patience has run out. The credit I gave to the finance and interior ministries that they would ensure the paid salaries to municipal workers has ended. The government's behavior is scandalous."

Eini made the statement following the decision made by National Labor Court President Judge Steve Adler after seven hearings conducted regarding the salaries.

Adler ruled that "the situation is far from being solved. We should not accept any postponement in paying salaries, even in a limited number of places, and [we] should act against these factors in the [local] authorities and religious municipalities that are delaying the payment of their workers."

The judge also slammed the state's management of implementing rehabilitation programs in the religious municipalities. Government officials had previously told the court that only a draft version of the rehabilitation plan would solve the problem, but admitted that no plan had been formed as of yet due to conflicts within the ministries.

Adler wrote in the verdict that "until today nothing happened, and according to state officials, at least another month is needed until this draft plan will be consolidated and approved by all needed."