Israel’s lab workers strike, Liberman tells Edelstein to take action

Written by on August 30, 2020

“Admittedly, they are not as important as the Breslov hassidim but they are the ones who are at the forefront of the struggle against coronavirus,” the Yisrael Beytenu wrote.

Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: REUTERS)

Avigdor Liberman

(photo credit: REUTERS)

Yisrael Beytenu Party chairman Avigdor Liberman demanded that the lab workers’ strike be raised at Sunday’s coronavirus cabinet meeting in order to resolve the crisis, in a letter addressed to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

“The citizens of Israel woke up today to bad news,” the letter states. “The laboratory workers strike comes at a time when we are facing one of the most serious health crises we have known. The strike will affect not only those infected with coronavirus but also other patients with serious illnesses and those at increased risk of becoming ill.”

He called on Edelstein, “the minister in charge,” to raise the issue at Sunday’s coronavirus cabinet meeting in order to resolve the crisis.

“The demands of the lab workers are not unreasonable, NIS 51 per hour instead of NIS 31. I am sure there is the money,” Liberman wrote. “Admittedly, they are not as important as the Breslov hassidim but they are the ones who are at the forefront of the struggle against coronavirus. And regardless, their demands are justified.”

Letter from Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein demanding that the lab workers' strike be brought up at Sunday's coronavirus cabinet meeting, August 30, 2020 (Credit: Screenshot)Letter from Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein demanding that the lab workers’ strike be brought up at Sunday’s coronavirus cabinet meeting, August 30, 2020 (Credit: Screenshot)

Some 2,000 lab workers from the country’s public hospitals and the Clalit health fund are on strike from Sunday after negotiations between the country’s public labs and the Finance Ministry broke down last Thursday.

“I apologize on behalf of the 2,000 employees of the public medical laboratories in Israel for the inconvenience that will be caused to you tomorrow, with the outbreak of a strike in the laboratories in hospitals and at health funds,” said Esther Admon, chairwoman of the Israel Association of Biochemists, Microbiologists and Laboratory Workers on Saturday night.

The workers will still carry out coronavirus testing for those who are hospitalized and in emergency situations. However, they will only report on coronavirus tests that are positive.

Maayan-Jaffe Hoffman contributed to this report. 

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