Ra’am defies coalition to back wage hike legislation, as coalition parties walk out

In a further loss for the fragile coalition, the Knesset gives an initial okay to several law bills that would raise the minimum wage, despite coalition heads vowing not to let them pass.

In a preliminary reading, lawmakers vote in favor of raising the minimum wage to NIS 40 ($12) an hour, a cause pushed by some opposition members as well as coalition party Labor, but opposed by most coalition parties.

There was tense infighting within the coalition before the vote, with the coalition Ra’am party defying coalition discipline and saying it would vote for the opposition Joint List’s proposal, and with Labor intending to vote for the bills.

In a last-minute compromise, coalition parties walk out of the vote, allowing all three bills to pass.

Rebel Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi stays in the plenum and votes for the bill along with the opposition, as do all members of Ra’am besides its chairman Mansour Abbas.

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