Chairman of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) Avi Nissenkorn is considering resigning and joining Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party ahead of the elections to the 21st Knesset next year, two separate sources close to the matter have informed "Globes."
Nissenkorn has taken no final decision on the matter as he observes the political jockeying in the wake of the coalition crisis with elections expected in March or early April 2019. In his position as Histadrut chairman, Nissenkorn is not a government employees and is fully entitled to leave his job and enter the political fray straight away.
Commenting on the matter, Nissenkorn told "Globes" today that there rumors were baseless and that he had not made any decision on his political direction.
In 2005 the law was amended so that the Histadrut chairman could not simultaneously serve as a Knesset Member, as then union chief Amir Peretz had done. Previously Histadrut chairmen had served as Labor party MKs.
Nissenkorn was elected Histadrut chairman in 2017, having succeeded the previous chairman Ofer Eini when he had stepperd down in 2014. When Nissenkorn stood for election current Zionist Union head Avi Gabbay had thrown his support behind Shelly Yechimovich, whom Nissenkorn defeated in the elections.
Over the past year, Nissenkorn has developed a good rapport with Kahlon. Nissenkorn has twice threatened a general strike but in both instances he reached an accommodation with Kahlon and the strike was called off at the last minute, including earlier this month over the issue of construction site accidents. Last November, the same happened over the issue of state-funded elderly care and nursing.
Most strikingly Kahlon spoke on stage alongside Nissenkorn at the central Histadrut event for workers day on May 1. Nobody remembers the last time a finance minister, who rose through the right-wing ranks of Beitar, Herut and the Likud and is steeped in the writings of Jabotinsky, spoke on the stage of the annual socialist festival.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 26, 2018
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