Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini to stand down

Eini, whose standing has weakened since the Netanyahu-Lapid-Bennett government was set up, will leave in February after 8 years in the job.

Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini today announced that he will resign on February 1, 2014. Trade Unions Division chairman Avi Nissenkoren is a candidate to succeed Eini, who has recommended him for the job.

Even before the last Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) elections, in which Eini was challenged by Eitan Cabel, there were assessments that Eini would not complete his term, but he denied them. Two years ago, the media reported that Eini was considering resigning and entering business at one of the country's largest companies.

Eini has announced his intention to resign at the end of the weakest year in his two terms in office. He became Histadrut chairman following the resignation of Amir Peretz in 2006, without an election. He was first elected in the 2007 elections.

Until two years ago, Eini was considered the strongman of the Israeli economy, and known as "the country's CEO". He 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 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 position weakened further with the establishment of the current government around the Netanayahu-Lapid-Bennett-Katz axis.

"In February 2014, after eight years as chairman of the Histadrut, I feel a sense of fulfillment and wish to embark on a new road," said Eini. "During this period, the Histadrut reached unprecedented heights in its influence on the economy, Israeli society, and the country's workers and pensioners, and it has earned considerable support among them.

"During my term, the Histadrut successfully led historic measures in Israeli labor relations, including mandatory pensions for all workers, collective agreements for contract workers, and raising the minimum wage. The climax is happening now, with hundreds of new workplaces unionizing with the Histadrut."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 5, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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