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Staff of Israeli Foreign Ministry commence international strike

Aug. 31, 2018 1:36 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2018 11:27 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Staff members of Israeli embassies around the world announced a same-day strike, on Friday morning, in protest against their working conditions and delay in salaries.

According to Hebrew-language news outlets, the international strike in which about 600 personnel are participating, includes 60% of the manpower and representatives of the Israeli Foreign Ministry abroad and around 80% of the delegations from the ministries of defense, economy and tourism.

The strike was set off against Israel's "delay in finding a solution to the failures that were discovered in the new salary conditions" which already went into effect in January 2018.

Sources reported that the strike is expected to last all day which means that no Israeli representatives will be present at a number of discussions involving Israel in the United Nations and European Union.

The strike is also expected to have an impact on a range of planned ceremonies; public receptions in the consular departments were to be canceled, as well as work meetings and other events.

One foreign ministry employee commented on the matter saying that "the last thing we wanted was to strike. Just two days ago a delegation of the committee returned from Israel after a round of negotiations that were supposed to end the work dispute."

The employee added "we got on the plane on the understanding that a solution had been reached, but the ongoing wrangling between the foreign and finance ministries are once again going on at our expense and we won't allow it."

The Israeli Ministry of Finance responded to the international strike in a statement expressing regret that "while the discussion is still ongoing, the workers chose to strike."

The statement added that "in the last few months the Finance Ministry has held joint talks with representatives of the Foreign Ministry Workers Committee in an effort to improve a number of issues with a new wage model."

It is noteworthy, that last year in April, around 1,200 employees of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 102 Israeli embassies worldwide announced that they would strike as a form of protest against poor salary conditions, claiming that the conditions have not been changed in the last 60 years.

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