FIBI to Dock Pay of Striking Workers

First International Bank of Israel management intends to dock NIS 1,000 from the paychecks of employees who participated in strikes and work disruptions in June.

The company said this week's decision would not affect workers who took sick leave or vacation during the strike period. Management announced two weeks ago it would reduce the planned bonuses bank clerks are to receive in 2007 based on 2006 profits by 20 percent due to the work disruptions.

"We are in a struggle with management, and struggles sometimes exact a price," clerks union chair Hanoch Livneh said, adding the union has arranged preferred loans for workers from the Atudot pension fund and LeumiCard.

The Histadrut Labor Federation's chair of the clerks, administrative and service workers association, Leon Morozovsky, has asked First International CEO David Granot to refrain from bringing in scabs to break an expected clerks strike. "We see these acts very gravely, and the matter will force us to take extreme measures if you do not cancel the decision."

Granot responded: "We have been in a conflict with the clerks' union for quite some time. I would expect you to exert your full weight and end this conflict properly, without having to strike."

A meeting between bank VP Yair Yitzhaki and union leaders headed by Livneh is set for this morning in an effort to resolve the conflict. One of the main points of contention is the union's demand for a bonus for 2004. FIBI management rejected this demand on the grounds that the bank's profit fell this year.