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      Labor Court Orders Gov´t Employees Back To Work

      The National Labor Court ordered striking employess back to work a day after a crippling nationwide strike. The government must remunerate unpaid workers - or face another strike a week from now.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 11/30/2006, 2:08 PM / Last Update: 11/30/2006, 8:36 AM

      National Labor Court President Justice Steve Adler [pictured] ruled early Thursday morning, after an all-night session, that the government must find the money to pay the public sector employees who have worked without receiving their salaries - in some cases for months at a time.

      The government was given one week in which to find a solution for firefighters, religious council employees and others who are owed salaries and pension fund payments.

      Histadrut Labor Union head Ofer Eini said on Army Radio Thursday morning that if the government does not come through with the promised wages next week, union workers will strike again. He added that he was satisfied with the court's decision.

      Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel Railways, seaports, oil refineries, land border crossings, the Israel Lands Administration, National Insurance Institute branches, courts, post offices, garbage collection and all other government services returned to regular operating schedules Thursday morning as result of the order.

      Negotiations between Histadrut officials and government representatives will continue on the issue of pension fund payments and payment of salaries to employees of local and regional councils that have no funds left in their public coffers.

      Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson was also happy with the decision, saying that the same solution could have been found even without the strike - though the problem of sporadic salary payments to municipal workers has been ongoing for four years.