A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
July 24 , 2007 National Strike
The national strike in Israel will be starting in a few hours. The Histadrut decided in the last moment to put off the strike at Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours, to not cause irreparable harm to travelers on such a short notice. There is no good side in this strike. On one hand there has not been a collective agreement for the public sector workers in 6 years. But why is the Histadrut suddenly striking now? There has been public warning in the media that a strike was imminent. No pronouncements that if there is no agreement by August 1 there would be a strike. It’s a surprise strike, on such an important matter that will be very costly to the country. On the other hand the governments initial offer of no increase and then a subsequent one of less then 1% over 3 years cannot be taken too seriously. It should be noted that according the statistics quoted on Israeli Channel 10 the real wages in the private sector have gone up 3.815 over the last five years, while the wages in the public sector have gone down by 3%. To put it into proportion the average teacher in Israel makes 5530 shekels a month while the average social workers makes 3470 a month.
There was an interesting analysis of the Turkish elections that I heard today on Israeli TV. The analyst was the former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He stated that the election were mostly a personnel victory for Prime Minister Ergon. This was the first time in 50 years that a sitting Prime Minister received more votes then in a previous election. According to the analyst however, the parliamentary support for Ergon has not changed substantially and he will be no more able to get his Presidential appointment approved then before. He also remarked that Turkish politics has become more complicated with the entry of large blocks of anti and pro Kurdish legislators into parliament. Another commentator noted yesterday that a significant number of Turkish troops are being killed each week by Kurdish terrorists.