Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz met on Tuesday and scheduled another meeting later in the day in attempts to avert a general strike that is threatening to shut down the economy, the government, and transportation hubs.

The Histadrut – the labor federation representing public sector workers in Israel – is demanding that the government hire contracted workers so that their conditions are on par with government employees. The strike will commence at 6:00 am.

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“The only weapon workers have is the weapon of a strike,” said Eini.

“The strike is unnecessary and would have enormous consequences on the economy,” a finance ministry spokeswoman said. Estimates are that the strike will cause economic damage of around $500 million a day.

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