A halt in the Israel Postal Company’s mobile services starting on Monday and demonstrations outside the home of Finance Minister Yair Lapid were the latest indications of the IPC’s ongoing crisis, Globes reported.
According to informed sources, the company board of directors was summoned Monday evening to discuss the developments, following the Government Companies Authority’s announcement of a suspension of negotiations with the employees.
A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, following a petition by the bondholders for the appointment of a representative for them to the company, due to concerns of imminent bankruptcy.
The employees announced their decision to implement sanctions, in view of a lack of agreement on the number of layoffs and the breakdown of talks.
Communities near the Gaza Strip were exempted from the mobile services stoppage.
The issues include tenure for temporary workers who have worked for over five years, and the amount of compensation those laid off will be given. It was also learned that there is a dispute about the managerial flexibility that company management is seeking after an agreement is signed, something topic that the workers are unwilling to accept.
The Government Companies Authority has proposed the introduction of a partner who will purchase a 20% share, with another 20% of the company being offered to the public in order to raise capital for the recovery plan, while leaving the government with a controlling interest, and this proposal is also subject to disagreement.
At its meeting tonight, the company board of directors will have to make decisions about the breakdown in negotiations, given the approaching court hearing.
Starting Monday night, an open-ended protest was slated to kick off in front of the home of Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Earlier understandings called for hundreds of employees to accept early retirement. More recently, however, IPC’s management and Finance Ministry representatives demanded that an additional 1,500 tenured workers be laid off.
Postal Workers Union chairman Shimon Farjun said, “During the negotiations, we accepted painful and large-scale streamlining measures, including layoffs, because we felt responsible for the living of thousands of other workers. We agreed to pay a heavy and very painful price. Although we had already reached the final stage of the negotiations, we now see that the Ministry of Finance and management want to fire thousands more tenured workers — we can’t agree to that. I call on the Finance Ministry and company management to retract this terrible demand and sign an agreement within the current framework in order to save the company, not to bury it.”
Israel Postal Company said, “The Postal Company and the state have made many concessions to the Histadrut and the workers in an attempt to stabilize the company and improve its services to the public. The reform proposal submitted to the Histadrut and the workers, however, which require an investment of hundreds of millions of shekels by the Treasury, were met by a slamming door and the declaration of a strike in postal services.”