Histadrut Strike Threat Yields Bonuses for City Workers

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, shown here with Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissankoren (L) at the Finance Ministry in Yerushalayim. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, shown here with Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissankoren (L) at the Finance Ministry in Yerushalayim. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

With a strike deadline looming on Tuesday at midnight, the Finance Ministry agreed to pay 100,000 municipality employees bonuses previously promised by the government.

The settlement averted a nationwide strike which would have closed down 256 local authorities, stopping trash collection and taking parking inspectors, construction planners, school administrators and others off their jobs.

It was the latest in a series of strikes threatened by the Histadrut which resulted in the government acceding to their demands.

“The Histadrut once again proved that it’s possible to reach a deal without a strike starting,” said Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, who promised to continue acting “responsibly” in upcoming labor disputes.

Last December 23, negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut labor federation ended in an 11th-hour deal averting a public sector strike at the price of a pay increase of 7.5 percent over 3.5 years.

On January 1 of this year, an Egged bus strike was threatened and then called off upon the announcement of a new wage agreement.

On February 4, workers at Elbit division Elop ended a three-day strike after winning a pay raise and one-time bonus.