Transport workers shut down airport in Israel’s general strike

Striking workers from all sectors shut down large parts of the Israeli economy on December 17th in a dispute involving the pharmaceutical company Teva - a major employer - after it announced 14,000 layoffs in Israel and worldwide.

Large numbers of public and private sector employees - including port and airport workers - supported the four-hour strike; Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport was shut down. Government offices, utilities, finance, technology, education and the health sector were impacted.

National centre Histradrut, which is affiliated to the ITUC, called the action, demanding the government support Israel’s industres and avoid unemployment. Workers, the union said are “not just numbers in Excel tables”, adding that the government must allocate funds to companies that boost employment and invest in Israel, thus reducing layoffs and preventing the closing of factories.

Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkoren declared: “Layoffs must be the last step and not the first step in the entire public and private Israeli economy. We are witnessing a broad public mobilisation that has a clear message.”

“In the struggle for the social face of the State of Israel, we are all determined and united” he concluded.

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