Histadrut calls public sector strike for next Tuesday

Avi Nissenkorn

Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn: Either a fair solution is found for public broadcasting workers, or there is a strike. 

Two weeks after declaring a labor dispute in the public sector, Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) chairman Avi Nissenkorn today maintained his threat of a general public sector strike in Israel because of the drawn-out saga of the public broadcasting corporation. Nissenkorn announced this morning that unless a fair solution was found to the problem, the strike will begin next Tuesday, April 25. The strike will affect all of Israel's public sector, including government companies.

"An appropriate solution or a strike," Nissenkorn said this morning, adding, "In the past few weeks a cynical and painful game has been played on the backs of the workers. This painful matter must be brought to a close. Unless a solution is found, next Tuesday there will be a general strike in the entire public sector."

Nissenkorn's well-publicized threats come against the background of the election for the chairmanship of the Histadrut, in which Nissenkorn is competing against MK Shelly Yachimovich.

The Histadrut states that the proposed reforms in public broadcasting and the setting up of a new broadcasting body are matters that have clear consequences for labor relations and job security. "Although the planned changes are far reaching and have weighty consequences for labor relations and workers' rights, the decisions on these changes have been made without any consultation with the workers' representatives."

The Histadrut's statement refers to the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (Kan), which was supposed to have replaced the existing Israel Broadcasting Authority on January 1 this year, resulting in layoffs for many Israel Broadcasting Authority employees. At the initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also minister of communications, the start of the Israel Broadcasting Authority's operations was postponed to April 30. Meanwhile, Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon have agreed on proposals to change the format of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, among other things by setting up a separate public news and current affairs broadcaster. The postponement and changes have caused uncertainty for the employees of both the old and new public broadcasting bodies.

In its statement, the Histadrut complains of "abuse of the employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, with incitement of each group of employees against the other." The statement adds, "The Histadrut demands protection for the workers' rights, particularly given the multiplicity of reforms and the fact that the workers have been left in constant uncertainty. The Histadrut demands an end to the employment of contract workers no expansion of employment in this harmful format."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 18, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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