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Haifa Unions Act to Relieve Unemployment; Abolish Overtime; Introduce “share-work” Plan

The Haifa Labor Council today took its first action to relieve the unemployment situation created by the arrival of huge numbers of immigrants and the partial demobilization of the army.

The Council has voted to abolish all overtime and to share the work that would normally be done on an overtime basis with the jobless. The Council, however, warned that this action will not solve the unemployment problem, but will only alleviate it. It proposed that large-scale country-wide industrial developments be started to provide employment.

The Jaffa Chamber of Commerce said today after a conference that it received the Israeli austerity program not only with reservations but also with deep concern regarding its effect. The group feels the program will not solve Israel’s problems, which can only be met by an influx of foreign capital and a rise in the export of goods, it said.

The Chamber demanded that private enterprise be encouraged, and asked for the establishment of a free trade zone near one of the country’s ports which would be used not for transfer of goods into the country but for distribution in neighboring countries without added customs duties. The payment for the goods would be made in foreign currency, while the government would benefit in currency as well as in the transit of goods, increased shipping and the visits of foreign merchants not for transfer of goods into the country but for distribution in neighboring countries without added customs duties. The payment for the goods would be made in foreign currency, while the government would benefit in currency as well as in the transit of goods, increased shipping and the visits of foreign merchants.

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