The strike that shut down most of the operations in Bank Mizrahi-Tafahot these past twelve days finally ended at 6:30 AM on Wednesday after the management and workers signed a letter of understanding, according to a Globes report.
The bank’s branches will be fully open for business today.
The bank’s workers committee announced that the new employee agreement will be retroactive from 2016 and go through 2021.
The strike particularly affected New Olim who were planning to complete the purchasing of their new homes in August ahead of the school year. For the bank, their main concern was their inability to run their international trade rooms, which was impacting their business clients.
Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot is the fourth largest bank in Israel, and the largest mortgage bank in the country, holding some 37% of the country’s mortgages. It’s also considered one of the most efficient and well-run banks in Israel.
The bank is planning to buy Bank Igud (Union Bank), a move Israeli Bank Regulators have signaled their approval of.
Once Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot completes the purchase of Bank Igud, they may be ranked the third largest bank in Israel.
The strike began when workers protested that the bank did not sign updated contract agreements with the workers in 2016-2017, which affects 4300 employees, and also wanted new contracts moving forward, particularly in light of the upcoming acquisition of Bank Igud.
Halfway into the strike and the negotiations, the workers’ representatives simply stopped talking to the management, when one of the terms that management demanded, which was no striking during the contract period, was completely rejected. It is still unknown if that condition will be included in the new agreement or not.
The bank normally publishes their quarterly results, which are expected to be good, before all the other banks in Israel. They pushed off their report until August 29, so that it would not be used against them in the negotiations.