Municipal workers launched a strike Sunday, April 1, throughout Israel, pledging not to pick up garbage or provide social services until the finance ministry agrees to their financial demands.
Some 100,000 workers in 250 municipalities began the strike at dawn Sunday after negotiations with the ministry failed, said Giora Tsur, a spokesman for Israel's main labor union Histadrut.
"There will be no removal of garbage from homes, no fines for illegal parking and social assistance offices will not open," he said.
Tsur said strikers are demanding a 3.6 percent increase in their salaries along with a one-time payment of $300.
The union spokesman rejected accusations from police that the pile-up of trash would make it easier for bombers to strike Israeli cities, as they have several times in the past week.
"It's too easy to put everything on the backs of the workers. Security officials also have to do their work without connection to the strike," he said. — (AFP, Jerusalem)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)