The 1,350 members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) will observe a Day of Solidarity in support of their striking Israeli counterparts on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Following the breakdown of a seven-month-long mediation process, the Israeli Foreign Service Workers’ Association (IFSWA) on March 23 declared a general strike as part of its fight to secure appropriate recognition for the work its members perform in difficult conditions on behalf of the government and people of Israel. Their demands include salary adjustments to match rises in the cost of living, an end to discriminatory tax policy, and consideration of the tremendous price paid by “trailing” spouses in lost income, pensions, and career opportunities.

PAFSO sympathizes with IFSWA’s campaign for fair pay and improved conditions of service. It also understands the unique challenges that members of the Israeli Foreign Service – and, by extension, their families – face as a result of their dedication to serving their country at home and abroad.

In light of the close relationship between Canada and Israel, and the vibrant cooperation which exists between our diplomatic services, PAFSO has declared April 2 a Day of Solidarity and asked all members – whether in Ottawa or on posting abroad – to wear purple attire to work that day. The official colour of PAFSO, purple, has come to symbolize the unprecedented spirit of solidarity, friendship, and common purpose which carried our members through the longest strike in the history of Canada’s federal public service in 2013. April 2 also coincides with the one-year anniversary of PAFSO’s entry into a legal strike position, which launched our own hard-fought job action campaign.

“I have again written to Mr. Yair Frommer, Chairman of the Israeli Foreign Service Workers’ Association, to express our members’ heartfelt support for their struggle,” said PAFSO President Tim Edwards. “We hope that this small gesture of solidarity will help raise awareness about the unreasonable and demoralizing treatment of Israel’s diplomats.”

PAFSO and IFSWA previously exchanged letters of support in May 2013 while both associations were simultaneously on strike (

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