Israeli union strike

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Israel's Histadrut trade union federation was expected to sign an agreement with the Treasury last night which would end Israel's most devastating strike for years.

Uncollected garbage has heaped up in the streets and queues formed at bank cashpoint and petrol stations as the general strike, involving some 700,000 workers, slowly closed down the country. Earlier, Amir Peretz, the union leader, said "dramatic progress" had been made after the president of the labour court put forward a compromise. The Histadrut wants the Treasury to honour a pension deal signed with the previous Labour government.