Foreign Ministry Workers Likely to Declare Strike

Foreign Ministry workers raised a black flag on the ministry’s flagpole on Sunday morning, to protest their work conditions. Over 100 employees stood outside the ministry building with signs reading slogans like “don’t rely on us,” and “you can’t pay for groceries with patriotism.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Iftach Ophir) in a satirical video released by the Foreign Ministry Workers Union (Photo: Foreign Ministry Workers Union)

As of last week, the Foreign Ministry Workers Union members stopped working past regular hours, because they are not paid overtime. The instruction went out in a special cable to Israeli missions abroad. The Foreign Ministry Workers Union leadership said “it pains us to see the foreign minister choose to ignore the cries of Foreign Ministry workers who are dedicated to their jobs, instead of leading the way to a resolution and negotiations. We will shut down the Foreign Ministry if we need to.”

In recent weeks, the Workers Union escalated it struggle after it gave Foreign Minister Yair Lapid a chance to improve their conditions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov canceled his trip to Israel because Foreign Ministry workers refused to handle his trip. The union also released a satirical video in which an actor (Iftach Ophir) portraying Lapid said that he “embraces the Foreign Ministry workers,” but when asked what he was going to do to help them, all he said was that he would embrace them more.

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