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Once Again, the Strike is On

All-night negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Union did not succeed in preventing the general nationwide strike today.
First Publish: 5/13/2003, 12:21 PM

All-night negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Union did not succeed in preventing the general nationwide strike today. All government offices are closed, as are those of the municipalities, Electric Company, Mekorot, and Bezeq. Trains are not running, hospitals are operating on a Sabbath schedule, and trash is not being collected. Banks are still open, however, Ben Gurion International Airport is suffering only minor work stoppages, and schools opened late today, after the first hour of classes. The negotiations will resume today, and Histadrut officials say that the gaps are not great.

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the champion of the emergency economic recovery plan being protested by the Histadrut, told foreign visitors yesterday, "Now is the time to invest in Israel." Meeting with a delegation of the Israel-Britain Business Council, Netanyahu said that the Israeli economy is undergoing a transformation to privatization, that its growth rate will continue to increase, and that, "If you invest in us now, you will profit."