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Nurses Charge Sex Discrimination, Walk off Job in One-day Strike

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Some 15,000 nurses, charging sex discrimination, walked off the job Sunday at public hospitals all over Israel.

The one-day warning strike was called by the nurses union to protest a proposed tax-reform measure and the Treasury’s refusal to grant them the same tax exemptions granted male workers.

It put the hospitals on a reduced Shabbat schedule. Doctors, who have engaged in walkouts and work stoppages of their own for the past month in a dispute about overtime pay, stayed on the job. But they had to make do without the assistance of nurses.

Ninety-five percent of the nurses arc women, liana Cohen, head of the nurses union, charged that the Finance Ministry discriminates against them on at least two counts.

According to Cohen, it plans to eliminate tax-credit points for working mothers with two or more children. A mother of two would lose $34 a month and a mother of four $68 if the plan goes through, Cohen said.

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