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Cablegate: No Surprises in Histadrut Elections As Eini

VZCZCXYZ0024
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1440 1361158
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161158Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1125
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 2161
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0055
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 6849
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001440

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB IS
SUBJECT: NO SURPRISES IN HISTADRUT ELECTIONS AS EINI
ELECTED CHAIRMAN

1. (U) Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini was elected by a large
majority on May 15, giving him four years as head of the
labor federation. Eini was appointed to succeed Amir Peretez
as Histadruit leader when Peretz was named Defense Minister
in January 2006. Talia Livni was also reelected as head of
Na'amat, the Histadrut women's organization. Histadrut is
expected to publish final voting results in a day or two.
Media reports quoted Eini saying that his immediate goal will
be negotiating a new public-sector agreement that includes a
pay raise.

2. (U) Eini easily defeated Leon Ben-Lulu, head of a faction
representing some Likud members. The vote proceeded after
Jerusalem District Court rejected a Ben-Lulu / Likud petition
to delay the election on the grounds that ballot boxes in
workplaces would lead to pressure on workers by committees
close to Eini. The ballot boxes were placed in workplaces
this year in an effort to increase voter participation.
Voter turnout was only around 25% -- less than it was in the
last Histadrut election.

3. (SBU) Eini was publicly supported by most factions within
the Histadrut, leading to criticism that the elections were
unnecessary and a waste of 50 million shekels at a time when
the Histadrut is facing huge deficits. One Histadrut contact
said that Ben-Lulu would have been offered a top position if
he had supported Eini, but that this opportunity disappeared
when Ben-Lulu forced an election.

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JONES

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