Strike at Israeli missions around the world called off

Finance Ministry reportedly has agreed to address complaints of employees of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.

By World Israel News Staff

Employees of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense have announced that they are postponing a strike which had been announced earlier on Thursday, and are resuming all consular services in Israel and at missions around the world.

The announcement came after a reported deal had been reached with the Finance Ministry to address the complaints of the workers.

The strike also affected Israeli border crossings. However, crossings to Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip reportedly were being reopened on Thursday afternoon.

The call for a strike had come in response to a letter sent by the Finance Ministry reportedly reneging on a deal that had been reached in July to continue reimbursing the overseas envoys for hospitality expenses.

According to Foreign Ministry employees, cited in a Ynet report, the Finance Ministry was also demanding that the workers retroactively pay back the sums they had received from the government for these expenses since the beginning of the year.

This, say the workers, amounts to thousands of shekels, adding to their complaints, over the years, that they are already subject to low pay and poor working conditions.

The Foreign Ministry’s workers union has struck before due to what they say is the Finance Ministry’s unwillingness to pay for internal agreements made with the employees. The most recent strike was in August 2018, but it only temporarily disrupted consular services in some of Israel’s missions, not all of them.

The ministry is said to be suffering from a cut of NIS 350 million from its 2019 budget that has resulted in the shutdown of several representations abroad and severely curtailed the number and quality of events that Israeli embassies can hold.