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      General Strike Starting Monday, Including Airports

      Histadrut labor federation shutting down much of public sector, in dispute over contract workers.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 11/3/2011, 7:52 PM

      Ben Gurion Airport
      Ben Gurion Airport
      Flash 90

      National labor umbrella federation Histadrut has announced that it is calling a general strike from Monday at 6:00 a.m. Histadrut chief Ofer Eini reached the decision after the Finance Ministry refused to reduce the number of contract workers employed by the State.

      The strike will include large swaths of the public sector including airports, sea ports, local authorities and government offices. Some private sector employees will also go on strike. Precise details on who will be on strike will be announced Sunday.

      "This strike is the last resort but we had no choice after the Finance Ministry said yesterday that it has no intention of directly employing contract workers in order to reduce the dimensions of this shameful phenomenon…"

      Employment of contract workers creates different classes of workers, the Histadrut charged.

      Eini said that he has the impression that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to reduce the contract-employment phenomenon and that it is the Finance Ministry that is blocking the path to an agreement. "I hope that the Prime Minister will continue to make every effort to reach agreement and prevent the strike." 

      Eini said Finance Ministry officials are ideologically opposed to absorbing the contract workers into the state's payroll. "For them… it is like allowing a pig into a synagogue. It is religious conversion."