Daily Israel Report

Second Day of Strike

Much of the country is on strike again today, for the second consecutive day, after talks last night between Finance Minister Netanyahu and Histadrut Union chief Peretz went nowhere. The gaps have narrowed, however.
First Publish: 5/14/2003, 12:47 PM

Much of the country is on strike again today, for the second consecutive day, after talks last night between Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Histadrut Labor Union chief Amir Peretz went nowhere. Only one issue apparently still divides the sides - that of the pension reforms. Netanyahu and Peretz were to meet again this afternoon.

This strike is not as widespread as the previous strike on April 30-May 1. Schools began only an hour late, and banks, the stock exchange, and post offices are working regularly. The day-care centers of WIZO, Naamat, and Emunah are closed today, as are the local and regional municipalities, religious councils, and government offices such as Value Added Tax, Income Tax, and employment bureaus. Public hospitals are on a Sabbath schedule, the ports and trains are not operating, and Ben Gurion International Airport workers are carrying out work slowdowns.

Hundreds of people will protest tomorrow against the continued strike. Oded Tira, President of the Industrialists Association, says that he instructed the factories to estimate the damages caused by the strike so that the Histadrut can later be sued in court for that amount.