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Israel stricken by unions general strike { June 2007 }

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Associated Press
Israel: Trade Union Launches Strike
Associated Press 07.25.07, 1:23 PM ET


Israel's largest trade union on Wednesday launched a general strike that shut down the country's seaports, land crossings, railways, mail service and many public services but did not stop travel at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

The Histadrut labor union began the open-ended strike at 6 a.m. after talks with the Finance Ministry over public sector pay broke down.

In a televised news conference Tuesday night, Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini said that due to hundreds of requests a strike at Israel's only international airport would be delayed until Thursday morning.

With schools on their summer break, this is a peak time for overseas travel for Israeli families. Analysts suggested the Histadrut union could be hoping that the government would make concessions after the first day's strike, avoiding an unpopular airport shutdown.

General strikes in Israel encompass a wide array of services, and much of the country is paralyzed. Government offices are shuttered and state-run utilities operate on skeleton staffs, carrying out no repairs.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press.

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