Postal Sanctions to Ease Until Sunday

Sanctions undertaken by postal service workers over the past weeks eased as of yesterday, at least for a few days, following a hearing before the Tel Aviv District Labor Court. The management of Israel Postal Company requested the court to issue an injunction to cease sanctions, saying that the strike is a political action against the government, not a labor dispute. Judge Yitzhak Lubotzky, who heard the case, proposed that the sanctions be suspended for a period of 21 days to allow negotiations between the parties. The state asked to respond by Sunday, when the labor court will reconvene to discuss the dispute. Postal service workers announced that the sanctions would be partially suspended through Sunday. Although mail will be distributed to 1,200 rural settlements, other sanctions will remain in place, including processing of income tax, V.A.T. and National Insurance Institute payments. The cause of the dispute is the new fees policy adopted by the government. Employees object to the policy because it does not allow the Postal Company to reduce fees in areas where it competes with private companies. This, they claim, will harm the company, and may lead to the firing of many employees.