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 Electricity workers take action against privatisation

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Pascal
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Number of posts : 225
Localisation : France
Organisation : UL CNT Besançon
Registration date : 2006-08-20

PostSubject: Electricity workers take action against privatisation   Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:33 am

Israel : Workers at the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) have been taking strike and sabotage action against electricity market reform.

Workers halted the unloading of coal from IEC ships and prevented the removal of ash from power stations, likely to paraylze coal fired stations within 3-4 days. They also cut management off from computer, telephone and electricity services and blocked offices in what has been a series of activities designed to disrupt the company's activities using "all legal means". No bills have been sent out since the beginning of the action, hitting revenue and preventing low-income customers from being cut off.

If the workers successfully shut down the coal stations, IEC will be restricted to generating electricity using crude oil, for which it has only ten days of stock - leading to a possible collapse of Israel's power system within two weeks should the action continue.

IEC workers told Globes Israeli business news online: "The cabinet approval to reform IEC was our green light to launch the struggle using every legal means. We’ll first act against the company and its management, which is our primary target. This morning, we decided to hurt management’s activities, in part to prevent them from petitioning the courts."

“We’re pursuing actions to protect the electricity market from the expected catastrophe from the collapse of the electricity grid that the government’s reform decision will bring about. I regret to say, but the Ministry of Finance is obsessed with privatizing everything that moves regardless of any benefit derived from the measure. I suggest that the Ministry of Finance listen to the experts before it’s too late.”

IEC is expected to take out an injunction against the workers, but a spokesman for the workers stated they would work to rule if necessary to continue the action.

Libcom, September 18 2006
http://libcom.org/news/israel-electricity-workers-take-action-against-privatisation-18092006

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PostSubject: Re: Electricity workers take action against privatisation   Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:35 am

Article about this case, Globe online, 14 Sep 06

Quote :

Electricity workers threaten to take gloves off
“The government's approval for reform of IEC was the green light to fight using every legal means.”


Israel Electric Corporation’s (IEC) employees are intensifying their fight against the electricity market reform. This morning they cut the company’s management off from computer, telephone and electricity services. The work of the company’s managers, directors and legal department was disrupted.

This morning, IEC workers committee announced new industrial actions against reform. In addition to disrupting management, the workers halted the unloading of coal from IEC ships and the removal of ash from power stations. These actions will paralyze coal-fired power stations within 3-4 days. If the workers continue not unloading coal, IEC will have to generate power using crude oil, for which it has stocks for ten days. The workers also announced that would prevent the company’s board from meeting today.

There is a risk that Israel’s power system could collapse within two weeks, if IEC’s workers continue their disruptions.

The IEC workers committee told “Globes” today, “The cabinet approval to reform IEC was our green light to launch the struggle using every legal means. We’ll first act against the company and its management, which is our primary target. This morning, we decided to hurt management’s activities, in part to prevent them from petitioning the courts.”

IEC workers committee chairman Miki Tzarfati told “Globes”, “We’re pursuing actions to protect the electricity market from the expected catastrophe from the collapse of the electricity grid that the government’s reform decision will bring about. I regret to say, but the Ministry of Finance is obsessed with privatizing everything that moves regardless of any benefit derived from the measure. I suggest that the Ministry of Finance listen to the experts before it’s too late.”

Government sources told “Globes” that the IEC workers’ battle was foreseen. “This is part of the normal negotiations on structural change. The workers have a message and are clearly signaling their power just before we sit down and talk with them on the terms of the reform. This act is a demonstration of power. The workers know that this reform will go ahead, and the question is which reform and under what terms.”

In the coming days, IEC’s management is expected to petition the Labor Court to issue injunctions against the company’s workers from disrupting the company’s activity. One workers committee member told “Globes”, “Even if injunctions are issued, there’s a legal way not to work in full. We can always implement a work-to-rule strike.”

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