Union Chief and Netanyahu Deny Reports about Coordinating on Strike3 min read
According to several reports, the Histadrut and the Prime Minister’s Office had coordinated on Monday for launching a general strike all across Israel.
The announcement from the major labor union had played a key role in the decision of the government to halt its judicial overhaul process in order to negotiate with the opposition.
As per the reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had coordinated with the labor union for arranging the strike to pressurize his own government.
It had given him the justification needed for pausing the legislation, something that a number of his coalition allies had desired.
The stoppage of the legislation came after increasing opposition to the judicial overhaul proposals of the government.
It was after the premier fired Yoav Gallant, the Defense Minister, when the latter publicly urged the government to halt the process.
The reports said that Netanyahu’s advisor, Yonatan Urich, had coordinated with the officials of Histadrut on Monday.
This had included the content as well as the timing of the press conferences that had been held by the chief of the labor union, Arnon Bar-David, and the Prime Minister himself.
The reports also stated that the premier’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, had spoken with officials close to the labor union chief and asked them to put pressure on the government to hold talks on judicial reform.
Last week, a rare public statement had been issued by Sara in which she had urged both sides to calm down and work together to come to an agreement for the Israeli people.
The Airport Workers Union is part of the labor union Histadrut and its chief, Pinchas Idan, gave an interview after the reports.
He said that Bar-David had stated that they would have a press conference and the premier would announce that he is halting the legislation an hour later.
A member of the Likud party, Idan had halted departure of flights from the Ben Gurion Airport after the strike, which had resulted in several delays.
According to Idan, Ben-David had stated that they had made all necessary arrangements with the appropriate people, but the prime minister’s office had not been explicitly mentioned.
Idan was asked if he believed there had been coordination and he said that it was highly likely, but he said that he was not sure if the premier had pushed for the strike.
A petition was signed by almost 2,000 members of the Likud party to oust Idan because of the role he played in the general strike.
On Thursday, the labor union chief issued a statement in which he denied claims of coordinating the strike with the Prime Minister’s Office.
He said that it was just a baseless claim that the media had come up with and it was nowhere close to the truth.
He also defended their decision to call a strike and said that their goal had been the well-being of the nation.
The reports were also denied by the Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu.