The Histadrut has officially declared a labor dispute with the government in response to Finance Minister Israel Katz’s plans to make sweeping cuts to public sector wages. Members of the Histadrut’s central committee voted unanimously to go ahead with the threat to strike unless planned cuts are reconsidered.
The labor dispute would allow the Histadrut to legally take industrial action against the government within 14 days. This could enable unions in Israel to proceed with a general strike – unless the Ministry of Finance renounces its intention to cut public sector wages. The Israeli public sector employs about 700,000 workers who stand to suffer from cuts to wages and pensions.
“The public sector has been responsible for handling the coronavirus crisis, saving lives,” said Arnon Bar David, Chairman of Histadrut. “Governments around the world have saluted their workers, while the Israeli government has attacked its own employees.”
“If the Ministry of Finance goes ahead with these plans, we will be certain to act against them. We will not allow the government to make cuts to wages or pension plans,” Bar David said. “If the government decides to return to negotiations, we will be sure to cooperate. But we will not allow the public sector to pay the price of government incompetence.”