General Strike Could Harm Israel’s Already Struggling Economy

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israel faces its first nationwide strike in nearly three years next week in a dispute mosrtly over the minimum wage. Officials from the finance ministry and Histadrut have been meeting to avert a strike scheduled to begin Dec. 7.

If it goes ahead it is likely to shut down the airport, seaports, trains, the stock exchange and dozens of government services, at a cost of up to $500 million a day.

The Histadrut is demanding the minimum wage be increased to 5,300 shekels ($1,355) a month from 4,300. A spokesman for Histadrut said some progress had been made in talks but that the walkout would go ahead.