Just in time for summer vacation – workers at the Population Registry, the government department in charge of issuing passports, is preparing to strike. The Histadrut labor union on Thursday authorized a work dispute over the government’s ignoring its demand for special pay for workers in light of the extension of the pilot biometric program beginning July 1.
With the new biometric passport and identity card, workers need to fill out extra forms and operate a camera themselves, while non-biometric applicants supply their own photos. When the biometric trial opened last year, the government agreed to “compensate” workers for the extra work they needed to do on the biometric documents.
Under Israeli law, work disputes must precede strikes by two weeks. Both sides are supposed to take advantage of the work dispute period to step up negotiations and prevent a strike.
Several other work disputes were declared Thursday, including one at the Port of Eilat, over management’s plans to change the organizational structure there; at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, over opposition to outsourcing some activities to outside contractors; and at Wizo day- care centers, over management changes.