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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Histadrut’

Labor Federation to Expand Postal Strike

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The Histadrut Labor Federation is expanding its postal strike to other agencies in solidarity with 1,500 full-time postal workers across the country whose fates still hang in the balance.

The government is intending to lay off the workers and replace them with contract workers instead, who will receive no benefits attached to their salaries. At issue is the question of how to make the Israel Postal Company profitable – which at present, it is not.

The nation’s labor union says it will extend its job action on Tuesday, Oct. 7, to include workers at the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) as well as the ports and the Justice Ministry.

Workers at the state-owned port in Haifa were already out on strike by Monday, shutting down a major gateway of trade — but the closure was not due to the postal strike. Rather, the walkout came in response to a government plan to build competing, private ports.

Foreign mail will continue to be blocked from entering the country as part of the general postal strike, however..

Airline Strike Ends after Deal with El Al

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The Histadrut national labor union has called off its planned shutdown of Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, and workers of Israeli airlines have ended their strike following a special agreement between the government and El Al.

The agreement was signed Monday evening in Israel, less than two hours before the Labor Court was to meet on a petition to issue an injunction against shutting down the airport.

Flights of El Al, Israir and Arkia airlines have been grounded since Sunday because of the Open Skies agreement that the Cabinet approved at the beginning of the week.

The Finance Ministry agreed to reimburse El Al for almost of all of its extraordinary security expenses, which make it less competitive against European airlines that can fly more planes to Israel under the Open Skies agreement.

Union to Ground All Ben Gurion Flights for Five Hours Tuesday

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The Histadrut national labor union will shut down Ben Gurion Airport for five hours Tuesday morning in a solidarity move with employees of El Al, Arkia and Israir. They shut down the three airlines starting Sunday morning because of their opposition to the “open-skies” agreement, which will not go into effect until next April.

Tuesday’s strike will start at 5 a.m. and end at 10 a.m., a period in which there are fewer flights than in the afternoon. However, it could be the opening shot towards a total shutdown unless the government and airline employees can come to an agreement to alter the agreement that the Cabinet approved Sunday morning.

The employees of El Al, Arkia and Israir are concerned about possible layoffs because the agreement is designed to increase competition and lower air fares.

The government has argued that the agreement will create jobs by increasing tourism, but that will not necessarily help the Israeli airlines.

Management of El Al also is against the agreement, maintaining that it gives foreign airlines an unfair advantage over the national carriers and allows more landings for European airlines while not offering El Al similar opportunities in Europe.

Israeli Airlines Grounded on Day 1 of Anti ‘Open Skies’ Policy

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The Israeli government is expected to approve today, Sunday, the Open Skies agreement enabling free competition for foreign airlines flying into Israel from Europe. Workers for the Israeli airlines are adamantly opposed to the agreement, which they say would wreck their industry, and so they went on strike at 5:00 AM, effectively disabling all the flights scheduled to depart from Israel.

The three local airlines, El-Al, IsrAir and Arkia, had been planning for the strike, and so they switched many flights to 4:50 AM, so that passengers could leave the country as planned.

Negotiations between the country’s major trades union, the Histadrut, and the Ministry of Transport over the free competition agreement was halted on Friday, and so far there have been no contacts between the two sides to renew talks.

The planned Open Skies will allow, over the next five years, a gradual process for many European airlines to run flights from Israel to the mainland and back. The main goal of the reform instituted by the Ministry of Transport is to encourage competition between companies, thereby reducing the prices for the Israeli consumer.

In addition, Israelis will now be able fly directly to destinations that currently are not reached from Israel.

Israeli airline employees have stressed in press interviews that they are not against the agreement, despite the strike. Avi Edri, Chairman of the Histadrut Transport Workers Union, clarified that he was “in favor of ‘open skies,’ and for benefiting the consumers, but not this way.” As he puts it, “the agreement as it is, without the needed adjustments to protect the Israeli companies, is a death sentence for these companies. You can’t enter the competition when the two sides are not equal, and the Ministry of Transport, unfortunately, favors the foreign companies.”

Among other things, the striking employees demand an added clause in the agreement, allowing Israeli companies to run lines to the same destinations as foreign companies would be given as part of the agreement..

Hours before the government discussion of the proposed treaty, Channel 10 News exposed an internal document of the Ministry of Transport warning against the collapse of El-Al as a result of implementing the Open Skies deal. Among other things, the report warns of El-Al going bankrupt and defaulting on its debts, in which case the Israeli government would have to funnel in funds to keep it alive, nationalize it temporarily, or turn it into a state enterprise.

Tension in Shas after Deri Demand to Supervise All Nominations

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Those who suggested it was only a matter of time before Aryeh Deri began his move to the absolute leadership of Shas, having been assigned to a co-leadership with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, can point to a case of a frozen appointment this week as the first eruption of hostilities between the charismatic ex-con Deri and the Shas leadership that stayed out of jail in his absence.

Kikar HaShabbat reported that Deri tried to prevent or suspend the appointment of a senior figure in Shas, causing tension in the Haredi-Sephardi party.

The belittled official was one Rafi Malachi who serves as chairman of the Shas delegation to the Histadrut national workers union and is a deputy of Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini. Malachi was planning to appoint Yisrael Amitai, who is close to the Shas leadership and to Eli Yishai, to a major position in the union. But at the last minute Malachi received a phone call from Shas treasurer Yehuda Ochana, who had jumped ship from Yishai’s to Deri’s deck, telling him the appointment is fozen for now and that future appointments must be run through Aryeh Deri.

Deri will attempt to calm the sudden tension he caused in a face to face meeting with Amitai on Tuesday. But many in Shas view the move as a signal that Deri intends to be in charge of patronage in the party.

Stay tuned.

Israel’s Five-Day Nationwide Strike Ends

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

The Finance Ministry and leaders of Israel’s main labor union, the Histadrut, reached a deal that ended a five-day nationwide strike that crippled Israel’s finance, transportation, health care, and municipal sectors.

The Histadrut was protesting the conditions of contract workers in the public and private sectors, and, under the agreement ending the walkout Sunday, contract workers will now receive pay raises and improved benefits.

 

Israeli Labor Strike Causes Closures, Delays

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Israel’s main labor union, the Histadrut, declared a general strike on Wednesday impacting services across the country.

The Histadrut, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Shalom Simhon were unable to come to an agreement over the conditions and contract terms for outsourced workers on Wednesday, with the failed talks leading to several closures, tie-ups, and delays.

The institutions which will be closed as a result of the strike include all government ministries, the National Insurance Institute, unemployment offices, Municipalities (meaning no parking tickets or garbage collection), religious councils, courts, the Chief Rabbinate, trains, ports, the Stock Exchange, and banks.  Ben Gurion International Airport will be on strike from 6AM to noon, and public hospitals are operating on reduced Sabbath schedules.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz chastised the Histadrut for calling a strike which is expected to cost the economy $400 million a week.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce against the strike, sayingit did not see a reason to intervene at this time.

An agreement between the Histadrut and the Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations, which represents private employers, have reportedly come to an agreement on the same issues.  If signed, the agreement will obligate employers to hire full time outsourced workers who have been employed for at least one or two years, rather than maintaining them as outsourced workers through an employment agency.  Compensation of those workers would also be matched to that already given to workers at the hiring company.

Finance Minister Steinitz reportedly told Histadrut head Ofer Eini that a similar agreement could not be reached with the state, because hiring outsourced workers for ministries and agencies would end up costing too much.  Instead, he offered salary and benefit increases, and increased monitoring to ensure workers’ rights were upheld in government offices.

At a conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Steinitz explained that obligating the state to hire all outsourced workers would ultimately force it to hire everyone who provided a long-term service to the state.  He also noted that Israel would be the only OECD country hiring outsourced employees and requiring the same of local councils and high-tech companies.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-labort-strike-causes-closures-delays/2012/02/08/

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