Israel Foreign Ministry wages strike resolved

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011

Israeli diplomats have ended a month-long strike after reaching an agreement on pay.

Workers at the Foreign Ministry walked out in December, demanding the same salary and benefits as Mossad staff and as workers for the Defence Ministry.

They refused to perform vital consular duties, from processing marriage licences to answering emails and helping Israelis in difficulty abroad. A deal has now been reached, although the demands of the Foreign Ministry staff have not been fully met.

The settlement means that a planned visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel will go ahead without fear of embarrassment for Israel.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cancelled a trip earlier this month because without diplomatic officials to organise it there could be no guarantees about how the visit would work.

In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, called the current pay levels for diplomatic workers “humiliating”.

Last updated: 12:55pm, January 24 2011