TEL AVIV (Dec. 30)
The strike of public employes reached massive proportions today as some 60,000 school teachers walked off the job, cancelling classes for over one million children, nearly a third of Israel’s population.
The teachers, on a one-day strike, joined 80,000 other civil service and municipal employes who have been striking since the beginning of the week. An additional 40-50,000 workers are in the second day of a two day work stoppage. Non-medical hospital personnel have threatened to walk out next week along with employes of government agencies and institutions.
The strikes were called by Histadrut to back its demand for wage increases for workers whose income has been eroded by triple-digit inflation. Representatives of the labor federation and the Finance Ministry have been locked in negotiations for the past few days but the two sides are said to be still far apart.