NII Workers Strike, Branches Closed

Some 3,500 National Insurance Institute workers went on strike yesterday, in response to a treasury decision to cancel a 13-year-old wage agreement.

The workers will be on strike until further notice. NII branches will be closed on Sunday, and employees will not be answering telephone calls.

NII union chairman Eli Sandak said the strike was triggered by the Finance Ministry's decision to cancel the wage agreement signed between the Histadrut labor federation and NII management.

According to the agreement, NII workers are entitled to arrive at work 10 minutes late and leave the office 10 minutes early - a total of 20 minutes less work per day. Alternatively, they may accumulate five days of leave a year or convert them to pay, thus increasing their pension allocations.

The treasury canceled this agreement retroactively to last January, claiming it was illegal.