Israel contract workers: Histadrut finally reaches an agreement with the government

A four-day general strike by the General Federation of Labour in Israel (Histadrut) ended on 12 February. The strike was held in support of contract workers who earn less and receive fewer benefits than their directly employed colleagues. The strike included all government ministries, local authorities, train, banks, stock exchange, airport, seaports and other public services.

In October 2011 the Histadrut started negotiations with the government to reduce the number of contract workers in the Israeli economy by transferring them to direct employment. Three months ago,  the negotiations reached a deadlock and the Histadrut asked to hold a first general strike. On November 7, 2011 the Histadrut held a general strike limited to four hours by the National Labour Court, after which negotiations with the Finance Ministry resumed.

Faced with ongoing stalemate in the negotiations, the Histadrut asked the National Labour Court to renew the strike on February 8 and its petition was accepted.

On February 12, an agreement was finally reached between the Histadrut and the Finance Ministry which defines significant accomplishments for the benefit of the contract workers.

In addition, a separate agreement was reached between the Histadrut and the Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations (the private employers), which substantially reduces the number of contract workers in the private sector and equalizes the work conditions and wage between the remaining contract workers and their directly employed colleagues.

For more details, download the document below.