All Gov't Offices to Strike Tomorrow

Starting Tuesday, all government offices will be closed to the public and will also not provide services over the telephone.

The decision to strike was taken yesterday by all the workers' committees representing government employees, at a meeting in Tel Aviv with the head of the Histadrut labor federation, Ofer Eini.

Government bodies such as the National Insurance Institute, Tax Authority, Customs and Israel Lands Administration will also not provide any services.

The treasury's decision to issue a tender to commercial banks for provision of bank services to government employees is what sparked the labor action. In the past Bank Yahav has had a monopoly on these services, including arranging low-interest loans for state workers.

The unions claim that privatizing such services and dividing them up among the various commercial banks will worsen the special conditions they now enjoy at Yahav.

The state subsidizes Yahav's activities for government workers, allowing also for low banking fees.

The strike committee will meet daily to decide on the severity of the sanctions to be launched, and will establish a special body that will provide services to citizens in emergency cases.

The treasury announced that the tender was issued properly, and called on the workers' representatives to meet with them to prevent the strike.