Foreign Ministry Workers Union Threatens to Disrupt President Trump Visit

YERUSHALAYIM -

While U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Yerushalayim later this month to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, failure to negotiate a settlement to a long-simmering Israeli foreign ministry labor dispute could disrupt the visit.

The workers union issued an explicit threat in a letter to the ministry’s director-general on Wednesday, saying that in view of foot-dragging by Treasury officials in implementing a recent wage agreement, they intend to upset the upcoming presidential visit, according to Army Radio.

Head of the workers’ union Hanan Goder, declared on Thursday, “we will take all measures,” and that the presidential visit will be “embarrassing,” though he would not specify what actions he has in mind.

Several years of acrimonious negotiations on issues of salaries for diplomats abroad was thought to have been brought to an end two months ago, but no formal agreement has been drawn up and nothing has changed, the union says.

“If you signed on something, if you made a commitment, then you should give [what is due],” Goder said. “Don’t say in two hours, or another two days, or another three years,” adding that such shabby treatment discourages people from applying to the foreign service.

In response, the Finance Ministry told Army Radio that a legal review of the details of the agreement was causing the delay.