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Monday Business | BRIEFLY / LABOR

Israeli Unions Broaden Nationwide Strike

September 07, 1998|Associated Press

Israel's giant Histadrut trade union federation decided to widen the scope of the public-sector strike that has gripped the country for the last four days after no agreement was reached in salary talks with the government. The federation said it will shut down Ben-Gurion International Airport today. The country's seaports would also be closed. The state-owned electricity company would be on a Sabbath footing beginning early today, meaning that only the most urgent repairs would be carried out. Bank employees would join the strike after a few days, the federation said, but no decision was made on precisely when. Nearly 300,000 employees were already on strike Sunday. All government offices, post offices, railroads and seaports were closed. Finance Minister Yaacov Neeman said the wage hikes demanded by the unions would cause runaway inflation. Histadrut leader Amir Peretz accused Neeman of scaring the public with figures many times greater than the real cost of the demands. Both sides were continuing to negotiate Sunday night.

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