Good news for the working class in Israel: Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini (Labor Party) announced Tuesday that he will step down from the position on February 1, 2014, after eight years in the role.
Eini will recommend that Avi Nissankoren, chairman of the Histadrut Trade Union division, replace him in the role. Though he emphasized that he was merely recommending Nissankoren to be elected, and not appointing him, he also said he waited to step down until he was sure Nissankoren was ready to succeed him. Eini called on neo-liberal Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid to work with, and not against, the Histadrut. “The best way is to join hands together. Together is not a vulgar word,” he said.
MK Dov Khenin accused Eini of “making the Histadrut a body with an interest-driven business agenda which deals in nepotism and schemes.” Khenin said that Eini’s resignation presents an opportunity “to bring the Histadrut back to its original role – defending the rights of working class in the neo-liberal capitalist economy.” Eini helped orchestrate the establishment of the previous Netanyahu government by bringing together Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Ehud Barak, then chairman of the Labor Party. Eini led the anti-workers economic package deal in 2009. His standing weakened when the Labor Party quit the government and split, with Barak establishing the Ha’atzmaut party. Eini’s supported further the establishment of the current right wing government around the Netanyahu-Lapid-Bennett-Katz axis.