Postal Strike Ends
Israelis, your mail will finally arrive today.
The Israeli Postal Service's three-day strike ended late Thursday night, after a series of dramatic negotiations between Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), Histadrut Trade Union Department Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, and Finance Ministry Budgetary Director Amir Levi.
Mail services will resume Friday at postal branches across Israel.
Negotiations will continue between both sides in the interim, IDF Radio announced, and will continue for up to 60 days. In the meantime, postal service workers have had their overtime hours reinstated, in exchange for an agreement to return 5% of their monthly salaries to the company's treasury by the end of 2014.
The interim agreement is designed to alleviate complaints from the Employees' Union while also skirting bankruptcy, experts say.
Erdan welcomed the news Thursday night, praising "the goodwill revealed by all parties involved." He also urged both sides "to find the right balance between [better] working conditions and [ensuring] the future of the company."
Nissenkorn agreed, saying "we've combined forces to save the lsraeli Postal service and ensure the future of the employees in the company. I welcome the maturity and responsibility discovered throughout the postal workers' crisis. Even at times of crisis, the workers decided to pitch in and lend a hand to rescue the company [from bankruptcy]."
The Israeli Postal Service has faced major budgetary setbacks for several months. In December, the government announced that up to 2,000 workers would be dismissed as part of a large-scale cost-cutting operation.
With the increased popularity of e-mail and electronic money transfers, and competition from private parcel and overnight letter companies, the post office's prospects for growth are slim, government officials believe.