JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's largest labor union launched an open-ended nationwide strike for the first time in five years on Wednesday, shutting down national and local government offices, banks, the stock exchange, rail service and seaports.

Workers at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport participated in the strike until noon, causing flight delays. Israel Radio technicians also halted work, leaving the state-run station silent expect for brief news broadcasts.

Union leaders are protesting the widespread use of contract workers in both the public and private sector. Contract workers earn less than people who are directly employed and do not enjoy the same benefits as regular staff employees.

The Histadrut labor federation called the strike after overnight talks with the Finance Ministry failed to produce a breakthrough.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.