Every labor leader needs his own strike. If he does not shut down the entire country once, then no one will take him seriously. This week Ofer Eini had his first taste of real combat, and he emerged a real winner and hero.
He shut down the economy for the good of truly disadvantaged workers. The 12,000 employees of poor municipalities who have not received salaries for months are a group that it is hard not to have sympathy for.
In contrast to Eini's predecessor at the Histadrut, Amir Peretz, Eini has still not shut down the ports or the airport in the interest of the strong, well-off unions.
Peretz specialized in striking to stop reforms, while Eini set out to battle over workers' rights. There was no more justified strike than this one: a strike of solidarity and values. It was not a coincidence that the strike received widespread public support, and that the Labor Tribunal ordered the state to pay up.
This victory will earn Eini public support, and give him confidence toward future battles - just as long as he does not forget the facts and the public good.
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