TEL AVIV (Dec. 16)
The II-day strike of Tel Aviv municipal workers ended last night, after weekend negotiations resulted in the agreement of the commercial banks to lend the City Council an additional two billion Shekels (some $3.3 million).
Sanitation workers agreed to begin work during the night to collect the nearly 80,000 tons of garbage which had mounted up in the streets, when they were promised that their salaries would be paid into their bank accounts first thing this morning. The city workers had gone on strike to protest non-payment of their November salaries, usually paid on the 5th of each month.
Mayor Shlomo Lahat has accused the Finance and Interior Ministries of failure to appreciate the problems of the country’s metropolis which he says has financial problems unlike those of any other city. He noted recently that while the government could afford to exceed its budget, “we do not have the facility to print money when we run short.”
The government asked the banks to extend the city further loans while awaiting details from Lahat how he plans to cut expenditures. He has been accused of carrying out lavish development and beautification plans while having insufficient money to pay his employes.