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Israeli Consulate Workers Halt Almost All Services in Strike

Foreign Ministry employees heightened their 3-month old labor dispute Sunday by halting virtually all consular services abroad. The only exceptions will be emergencies, the repatriation of bodies to Israel and procedures relating to adoption and surrogacy.

The employees are demanding a collective agreement and are concerned about issues such as salary erosion. They also want a procedure for compensating spouses who are living abroad but not working, and the halting of double taxation of diplomats.

On Sunday, the union sent a cable to all employees abroad instructing them to “immediately halt all consular services.”

“The Finance Ministry is stalling for time, is treating us with contempt and is indifferent to the distress of Foreign Ministry workers and the tens of thousands of Israelis abroad who are suffering the results of the labor dispute,” the ministry’s workers’ union said in a statement. “We call on all citizens hurt by the sanctions to appeal to Kobi Amsalem, head of the Finance Ministry’s wages and labor-accord unit, and demand an end to the dispute.”

Last Tuesday the union instructed diplomats abroad to halt all procedures dealing with visits to Israel by foreign leaders and delegations. That move followed a decision by the Finance Ministry to deduct wages of workers taking part in the labor action.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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