General strike shuts down Israel

Israel’s public sector workers walked out for four hours Nov. 7, shutting down trains, buses, airports, banks, government ministries and municipalities. Traffic jams clogged Tel Aviv, and the city’s stock exchange and Ben Gurion International Airport were closed. A general strike by the Histadrut Labor Union was limited to four hours by an order of the National Labor Court. The union is demanding that the government officially hire some 250,000 contract workers, who are denied representation and job security. (Haaretz, JTA, AFP, Nov. 7)

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  1. Israel: public-sector general strike ends
    A three-day general strike over conditions of outsourced workers ended on Feb. 12 with an agreement under which only a relatively small number of these workers in the public sector will be hired directly. The agreement, signed by Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, does improve pay and benefits for cleaners and security guards. The end of the strike was made possible when the Finance Ministry withdrew its demand that the Histadrut pledge not to strike for four years over the issue outsourced workers. As a compromise, the Histadrut agreed that it would not raise demands with regard to pay for outsourced workers for a period of three years. (Ha’aretz, Feb. 13)