Histadrut Rallies for General Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -
Chairman of the Histadrut labor federation Avi Nissenkorn. (FLASH90)
Chairman of the Histadrut labor federation Avi Nissenkorn. (FLASH90)

The Histadrut held a mass rally in downtown Tel Aviv on Thursday ahead of a planned general strike next Wednesday.

Thousands of Histadrut employees gathered in Habima Square.

Delegations from workers’ committees all over Israel protested government policy allowing a growing number of contract workers who are denied benefits earned by union employees.

Negotiations with the Finance Ministry have yet to produce the desired results, and the union threatens a nationwide strike if a deal is not reached by July 22.

At the demonstration, Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn said: “We have taken upon ourselves the struggle to eliminate the unacceptable practice of contract labor, and I say to the Israeli public: We won’t stop, and we won’t rest, until we get rid of this phenomenon.

“Next Wednesday, if we don’t reach agreement on the issue of contract workers, certainly in the core professions, there will be a general strike. We can’t have a civics teacher who’s a contract worker, a high school nurse who’s a contract worker, or a social worker at the municipality who’s a contract worker.

“Is this the country we want?” Nissenkorn asked. “We have to make a change, and we will make a change. The Ministry of Finance officials have to get used to it. We can’t continue this practice, which deprives people of respect and damages the nation’s social fabric.

“This isn’t just the workers’ fight; it’s a fight of Israeli society, a fight of every one of us.”