Histadrut Cancels National Strike As Changes in Economic Plan Hinted

Histadrut has postponed a general strike called for Thursday that would have idled tens of thousands of public sector employees and probably paralyzed the country.

The strike was planned to protest the economic recovery plan approved by the Cabinet last month, which the labor federation said would threaten workers’ incomes.

It was to be of indefinite duration.

But Chaim Haberfeld, head of Histadrut’s trade unions department, said Tuesday night that his talks with government officials gave reason to hope that Finance Minister Yitzhak Moda’i would modify his plan.

The finance minister said he would submit revised proposals to the Knesset next week.

Histadrut objected, among other things, to proposals to tax capital gains from pension funds and savings plans and to reduce the minimum wage and unemployment benefits.

Also under fire was a plan to extend the value-added tax to fruits and vegetables bought at market stalls.

Haberfeld stressed that the strike could still occur at a later date if the economic package is not changed.

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