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Israeli Tax Authority Returns To Work After Strike Action

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

16 December 2008


Employees of the Israeli Tax Authority have returned to work after two-day strike action yielded successful negotiations with the Finance Ministry.

The staff decided the only way to achieve successful talks was a nationwide walk out which lasted two days. The move came after a two year dispute between tax workers and the Ministry.

According to the unions, staff at Tax Authority offices nationwide claimed that learning new income tax law amendments, dealing with war compensation claims and contributing to an intensified effort to combat organised crime substantially increased their workloads and they argued they should be paid accordingly. They also claimed that, in effect, they were entitled to danger money for standing up to criminal organisations.

The issue was resolved on December 10 when the unions began discussions with the Finance Ministry. After two days of discussions the two parties were able to achieve a reasonable resolution for the workers.

The government from the outset responded negatively to the tax workers' claims, insinuating that the workers were using public debt against the government to achieve a raise, suggesting that increasing numbers of unpaid tax returns meant that their services were increasingly more valuable for the government.

Nevertheless, the government has seemingly retreated on the issue and has agreed to contribute millions of shekels towards increased wages for tax workers.


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