The general strike called for Wednesday by the Histadrut was called off after the labor federation reached an understanding with the Finance Ministry for ending the dispute over contract workers, Globes reported.
Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn announced the settlement, under which 10,000 contract workers in the public sector will become full government employees within four years and 6,000 contract workers in the private sector will receive employee status.
Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, said on Monday, “There is no reason to hold a general strike, which is liable to cause damage and suffering in the private sector, at a time when the Ministry of Finance supports transferring contract workers to direct employment.”
He argued that the Finance Ministry and the business sector should be given maximum flexibility in making the transfer. “At the end of 2014, the public sector in Israel employed about 1,178,000 people, some of them in situations of hidden unemployment, and they are paid out of the public purse. Therefore, when a worker is transferred to direct employment, it would be as well that the employer should have the flexibility to manage in accordance with his needs.”
The Chambers of Commerce support switching contract workers to direct employment. “The existing law in any case provides a solution for this situation,” says Lynn, “After nine months of employing someone via a manpower company, the employer must take him or her onto the payroll. A distinction should be maintained between workers employed via manpower companies and workers who provide a service to another organization through outsourcing, in which case they are employees of the company providing services to its customers.”