Electric Corp Reform Promised in 6 Months

YERUSHALAYIM -

Government and Histadrut officials are confidently predicting a conclusion to efforts to effect major reform of Israel Electric Corporation within six months, Globes reported on Wednesday.

The reforms include restructuring, streamlining, employee compensation and revamping IEC finances, in arrears of over NIS 70 billion.

The talks are slated to resume within three weeks and continue for 3-4 months, until a final agreement is reached. The deal was struck by Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini, and Minister Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom.

Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht ordered negotiations suspended last year after the announcement of early elections, on the grounds that the such an important, long-term issue should be handled by the incoming government.

IEC’s workers have reportedly agreed to the restructuring and the sale of control in current and future power stations to private parties.

However, the issue of outsourcing the grid management system remains to be worked out. The streamlining involves early retirement by up to 2,000 employees over the age of 55.

The two sides are still far apart on employee compensation: IEC is offering NIS 6 billion in benefits, while the employees are demanding NIS 10 billion.