"The workers won't be the prime minister's ATM because of the deficit," Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini declared Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini on Friday in a speech at the Eilat Labor Relations Conference organized by the Economic Organizations Liaison Bureau.
"I am now hearing talk about a new package deal," said Eini, adding, "In 2009, I agreed to this because I was prepared to give something in exchange, but today, in view of the insane rise in prices, I will not allow let anything be taken from the workers. I go to the supermarket, and I see how it's possible to spend NIS 1,500, and I ask myself how someone on the minimum wage survives. So for a worker whose salary has eroded as prices have risen, will we allow further erosion in his salary?"
Eini made a direct threat against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including a general strike if workers are harmed. "We want cooperation, but if you dare to take unilateral measures, then my restraint of the past seven years, for which I have been attacked for not going far enough to shut down the economy, will end. I will not hesitate to think and act differently," he said.
Eini also sent a message to Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, saying, "I am glad that there are parties that constantly talked about the middle class, and which will now join the government. I assume that these parties will oppose measures to affect workers' pay and limit the right to strike. After all, a large part of the public which we represent is the middle class."
Eini slammed the initiative to abolish the labor court, and criticized Economic Organizations Liaison Bureau chairman Zvi Oren, saying, "Someone at the Liaison Bureau who brutally attacked the labor courts, but I heard nothing from you. I hope that this is not the position of the entire Liaison Bureau, but only the opinion of one man." The reference is to Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce president Uriel Lynn.
Eini continued, "A new trend is emerging: if the court does not rule in favor of employers, then the employers and the government gang up to shut the court down. Maybe we'll also close the High Court of Justice if it doesn’t rule in your favor?"
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 3, 2013
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