Eini's Safety Net

Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini can count last week's Labor Party primaries as a victory for him, too. The candidates who won places at the top of the Labor Knesset list included those Eini supported: Isaac Herzog, Ophir Pines-Paz, Avishay Braverman, Shelly Yachimovich, Matan Vilnai and Daniel Ben-Simon.

The large unions pushed their members to vote for these candidates. Braverman and Yachimovich were also among those who supported Eini's call for a broad safety net for pension savings, and objected to the treasury's plans.

The economic crisis helped Braverman and Yachimovich improve their status in the primaries, said party sources. The chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee and his actions in the wake of the crisis were a springboard for Braverman to a higher place on the Labor Knesset list - especially after last week's battle with Bar-On in the committee over pension savings.

Yesterday Braverman announced that he was willing to call a committee session to discuss the treasury's economic stimulus plans once a general agreement was reached with the Histadrut and others over a safety net.

Yachimovich admits that the economic crisis clarified that the party needs to return to a social-democratic platform. She said that everywhere she went, the economic and social issues were important and strengthened her support.