Postal Sanctions Continue Today

Israel Postal Company workers will continue sanctions today after a meeting between Postal Workers Union and Communications Minister Ariel Atias ended yesterday inconclusively. As a result, mail will not be distributed in certain regions of the country, and postal branches will close earlier than usual. Some services such as transfering automobile ownership registration will be unavailable. Independent postal agencies, however, will operate as usual.

Postal company's sanctions threaten to turn into an all-out strike supported by the Histadrut Labor Federation on Thursday if workers' demands to delay implementation of postal reform for six months is not met. The reform is slated to go into effect July 2. It is aimed at enabling competition for mass mailing services on behalf of large companies and government ministries and includes a new fee policy based on recommendations made by the Sagi Commission.

Israel Postal workers are demanding the company be given the flexibility to reduce mass mailing service fees so it can compete against private companies such as Messer and Direct Line.

After yesterday's failed meeting between the workers union, led by Reuven Karazi, and Atias, union members said they are still awaiting results of an attempted mediation by Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and an Economics Affairs Committee debate over postal fees set for today. After that, the union will decide on its next steps.

Heads of private postal companies called on government officials "not to surrender to blackmail by employees of the Israel Postal Company" being encouraged by management.