Foreign Ministry goes on strike, all Israel’s embassies and consulates abroad to close
Foreign Ministry’s workers committee declared a full-fledged strike on Sunday, closing the ministry and all the country’s embassies and consulates around the world for the first time.
The strike is the latest development in a nearly two-year-old work dispute that the workers declared for improved salaries and work conditions.
Seven months of mediation efforts exploded on March 4 when the workers rejected a Finance Ministry proposal.
The workers then resumed crippling labor measures that had been put on hold during the mediation period.
A number of high-profile visits to Israel were canceled as a result of the measures, as well as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned trip to Mexico, Colombia and Panama next month.
In addition, Pope Francis’s planned visit in May is in doubt because of the strike measures.
A statement put out by the workers committee said that the workers declared an “indefinite” strike “in protest of the employment conditions for Israeli diplomats and because of the draconian decision by the Treasury to cut the workers’ salaries.
“Today, for the first time in Israel’s history, the Foreign Ministry will be closed and no work will be done in any sphere under the ministry’s authority,” the statement read.
The decision to strike was slammed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who called it a “miserable” decision that shows the workers committee has become “hysterical.”
“This move has no benefit, and will only cause more damage to the ministry’s workers,” he said. “I am sorry that these irresponsible steps will come at the expense of the country’s citizens, and as contacts are under way with the Treasury and in the middle of mediation.”
“We will do everything possible to limit the damage caused to the state and its citizens,” Liberman said.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, had no comment on Sunday on the strike that will paralyze the diplomatic corps around the world
The stars doesn’t look good at all for that kind of action.