'Invite me to party, or schools will go on strike'

Upset at not being invited to mayor's holiday toast, union boss threatens to shut down public preschools and kindergartens.

David Rosenberg,

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One man’s wounded pride nearly shut down schools across an Israeli town, leaving parents scrambling to make arrangements.

The city of Rosh Ha’Ayin in central Israel narrowly averted a school strike Monday morning, after the mayor met with the head of a labor union representing employees of the municipality.

The strike had originally been called on Sunday by local union chief Yehiel Vahev after he failed to receive an invitation to a toast by the mayor in honor of the holiday season, Israel Hayom reported.

On Sunday Vahev explained the reasoning for the planned strike, calling the lack of an invite a “provocation against the workers’ union that intentionally created needless shock in the system.”

Had the strike been implemented, it would have affected all public preschools and kindergartens in the city.

According to Vahev, the mayor’s unwillingness to invite him to the toast “leaves the workers’ union with no choice but to use what legal tools it has.”

Parents protested the decision to strike, and the city filed a request in the district labor court to bar the strike.

Following the uproar, the mayor and union leader agreed Sunday night to meet to discuss workers’ issues in Rosh Ha’Ayin. After the agreement was reached, Vahev nixed the planned strike.

“I agreed to concede and cancel” the strike, said Vahev, “so as not to harm the parents and students. The mayor promised [to hold a meeting with me], let’s see how things turn out.”




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