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Israeli diplomats sport jeans, sandals in wage protest

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 21:19

Jerusalem: Israeli diplomats have started
wearing jeans and sandals to work and caused a series of
diplomatic faux pas in a protest over salary conditions, a
foreign ministry official said on Tuesday.

The increasingly public dispute has compounded Israel`s
diplomatic woes at a time when it is struggling to contain the
backlash from a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid fleet last
month that frayed relations with key ally Turkey.

"For several days now foreign ministry employees have come
to work in jeans and sandals, without wearing ties, to protest
their treatment," the official told AFP on condition of

"They are following orders from the employees` committee,
which has accused the treasury of dragging its feet in six
months of salary negotiations."

The labour dispute has also seen employees shirk routine
duties, with some visiting foreign dignitaries recently being
abandoned by their Israeli ministry drivers and forced to ask
their embassies to send cars.

Yesterday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had to
welcome visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
without a customary ceremony because no one bothered to
organise one.

And Uzi Arad, national security advisor to Israel`s Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had to cancel a trip to Moscow
because the Israeli embassy there said it could not
accommodate him.


First Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 21:19

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