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Israel: General Strike Over Unpaid Wages

Israel: General Strike Over Unpaid Wages

Brussels, 21 September 2004, (ICFTU Online): The ICFTU's Israeli affiliate Histadrut today launched a nationwide strike in protest at unpaid wages in the public sector. Workers in a number of local authorities and religious councils have not received their salaries for periods of up to 30 months. Trade union members from a range of occupations and sectors around the country have undertaken the strike action to show solidarity with the affected workers, and to oppose the "destructive Government assumption that it is legitimate for other Israeli employers not to pay the salaries of working people" according to the Histadrut.

Histadrut Chairperson Amir Peretz said "the nonpayment of wages is a moral blight on the Israeli Government. The nonpayment is not unavoidable and not the inevitable result of any real condition".

In a letter to Peretz*, ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder conveyed the global confederation's "full solidarity with the Histadrut and its members who have launched a general strike in support of the workers who have become victims of destructive government policies and actions". The non-payment of wages is a clear violation of Convention No 95 of the International Labour Organisation concerning the protection of wages, which the Israeli Government has ratified.

Histadrut has documented several cases of non-payment of wages to workers employed by local authorities, and by religious councils which provide services such a funerals, marriage registration and kashrut certification.

*see http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991220556&Language=EN for a copy of the letter.

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers in 234 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org

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