General strike continues as negotiations break down again

JERUSALEM (JWN)—The general strike that began Wednesday continued Friday, after talks between the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry again failed to reach agreement despite marathon talks. Negotiations are to resume Sunday morning.

The strike appeared to be approaching an end Thursday night, when the parties agreed that several thousand out of 300,000 contract workers indirectly employed by the government would become full state employees. This change of status would significantly improve their salaries and social benefits.

The strike, declared by the Histradrut following a statutory two-week cooling off period, has shut down the country’s public sector, affecting transportation (except for a partial closure of airports), banks, and government ministries.

The core issue is the Histradrut’s demand that subcontracted workers be hired directly and receive full employment benefits, especially cleaning workers.