Histadrut remains strong amidst the judicial upheaval, chairman says in meeting with IMF delegation

May 04, 2023

The Histadrut chairman, Arnon Bar-David, met with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in his office today (Thursday). The delegation led by Miguel Segoviano was convened as part of a series of discussions and consultations that the IMF delegation is having with leaders of the Israeli economy. These discussions are in preparation for an annual report on the Israeli economy.

During the meeting, Histadrut representatives presented macroeconomic data and an overview of processes in the Israeli labor market in recent years. Among the issues discussed were reducing inequality in the incomes and wages of workers in Israel and increasing labor productivity. The Histadrut representatives also highlighted the steps the organization has taken to protect the working public, such as collective agreements with various organizations.

Bar-David expressed his gratitude to the IMF delegation for their visit to the Histadrut and discussed the contributions of public sector workers to maintaining Israel’s economy during the COVID-19 crisis. He mentioned the recently signed framework agreement, which includes a wage increase of up to 14%, shortening the work week by two hours, and the cost of living grant.
“The government must strengthen these workers, among other things, through vocational and technological training,” Bar-David said.

The chairman of the Histadrut also discussed the current crisis in Israel, stating, “The judicial upheaval has set Israel back in all respects. For about six months, nothing has been managed or planned in the State of Israel.” However, he also mentioned a positive aspect: the collective agreements signed without a single day of strike. The agreements were signed with the Minister of Finance, who opposes trade unions. This highlights the strength and responsibility of the Histadrut, which has been and will continue to be the most responsible and balancing factor in Israel.

The meeting also included comments from Adam Blumenberg, Vice President of Economics and Policy and General Director of the Trade Union Division in the Histadrut. “There is great importance in the cooperation between the Histadrut and the government, in protecting workers’ rights, reducing income inequality, and in promoting professional training for employees,” Blumenberg said.

Amit Ben-Zur, CEO of Arlozorov Forum, emphasized the challenges facing Israel due to underinvestment in labor market policies and training. “Policy measures, such as a distribution policy and a dedicated policy for the labor market, are necessary to deal with the rising inequality and promote economic stability,” Ben-Zur said.

The meeting was joined by Pablo Druck, Shakill Hassan, and Luca Mazzone and also, Shai Ben-Zur – Israel’s representative at the International Monetary Fund, and Nadav Steinberg, an economist at the research division of the Bank of Israel.

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