Histadrut Officials to Nissenkorn: It’s Either Us, or Gantz

Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Histadrut members and executives are unhappy at the prospect of union head Avi Nissenkorn leaving his post to run on the Knesset list of the Resilience Party, headed by Benny Gantz – but they are even more upset at what they said was his attempt to leave the door open for his return, just in case things don’t work out for him in the political arena.

A report on Walla News said that they plan to rush through the nomination of the man Nissenkorn chose as his replacement – longtime Histadrut official Arnon Bar-David, who is currently acting Histadrut head. However, he is functioning in that post only because, officially, Nissenkorn is on vacation. Contrary to the impression he gave Israelis over the weekend that he was “leaving” the Histadrut, it has emerged that Nissenkorn has just taken a leave of absence.

The reason for that, union insiders said, is that Nissenkorn is seeking to leave the door open for his return if he does not achieve a ministry post. If he does, he will resign and Bar-David will be given the top job in the Histadrut – after the election. If he does not get a ministry post, he will simply return to his old job.

Histadrut executives are very displeased at this tactic. “The heads of the workers’ committees want him to decide one way or the other,” a top official told Walla News. “If he is leaving then we will say thanks and see you later. Or he can stay. You can’t have a person doing half a job. With all due respect to the Histadrut chairman, he can choose a new path if he wants, but he must be decisive. Let him close the door as others before him did and move on.”

Nissenkorn announced on Motzoei Shabbos that he would be joining with Gantz. “I will leave the Histadrut with a heavy heart, while working to ensure the continuity of the social path that we have placed as our priority,” he said. “Benny Gantz must be prime minister of Israel. I will continue to take a strong position on social issues, and will do that even more forcefully from within the government.”

Gantz said that Nissenkorn’s inclusion on the list will turn his party “into one that will represent the middle class. Together with Nissenkorn, who succeeded in raising the minimum wage and the average salary in the economy, we will wage a fight against the high cost of living that has become intolerable, and [to increase] the disposable income of millions of families in the middle class.”