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General Strike: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best

Israel may face another general strike Wednesday morning barring a last-minute solution. Flights from Ben Gurion Airport will be grounded.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/7/2012, 11:58 AM

Strike at Ben Gurion Airport (archives)
Strike at Ben Gurion Airport (archives)
srael news photo: Yoni Kempinski

Israel may face another general strike Wednesday morning barring a last-minute solution. Flights from Ben Gurion Airport will be grounded.

All government services, including garbage removal, schools, banks and airports, will be shut down, and flights out of Ben Gurion Airport will be canceled from 6 a.m. and at least until noon.

The Histadrut national labor union staged a strike last month but then called it off in the morning, after causing havoc and confusion among the public.

This time around, the strike is likely to last at least for a day, if not longer, unless the government reaches a last-minute solution over the issue of employees working for contractors, who do not grant them the same benefits often granted by a direct employer.

Without a compromise solution between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut, the only obstacle to a general shutdown is a court injunction in the likely event that the ministry files a petition with the High Court.

The Histadrut has complained that the current trend towards outsourcing is costing hundreds of thousands of Israeli workers benefits and pensions. Union leader Ofer Eini said an agreement could have been reached if it weren’t for the government’s insistence that contracted workers have no right to strike.