Opposition’s Minimum Wage Bill Passes in Preliminary Reading

(Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A bill proposed by the Joint List party raising the minimum wage to NIS 40 ($12) per hour was approved in a preliminary reading in a vote of 23 MKs against four on Wednesday afternoon, despite reports that parts of the coalition were planning on opposing the bill.

Labor MK Naama Lazimi – a member of the coalition – has long championed raising the minimum wage, and she is the sponsor of one of three linked bills that were brought up for a vote in the plenum. The other two are sponsored by opposition MKs.

As interlinked bills, the three would be voted upon together.

The driving force behind all three bills is the organization Standing Together. A spokesman for the organization says that after a fight with Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman held up progress for Lazimi’s effort, it turned to the opposition.

The current minimum wage is NIS 29.12 ($8.7) an hour.

Even after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar demanded all coalition MKs remain in the plenum and vote the bill down, most of the MKs left the plenum, in yet another sign of the fragility of the coalition.

Rebel Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi stayed in the plenum and voted for the bill along with the opposition, as did most members of Ra’am.

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