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Wage-cutting Plan Effective Today in Israel; Labor Federation May Cust Opponents

Members of Mapam, the United Workers Party, may be expelled from all leading committees in the Histadrut, the Israeli Federation of Labor, should their party adopt an unyielding policy of opposition to the government’s austerity program which includes among other measures the cutting of workers’ wages as part of the plan to reduce the high cost of living.

Indications to this effect were given today by circles close to the Mapai, the Israeli Labor Party, as the executive of the Histadrut went into a closed session to reach a final decision with regard to the proposed automatic out in wages which is to go into effect tomorrow throughout the country. Both Mapam and Mapai are strongly represented in the Histadrut.

It is understood that the Mapam members on the Histadrut executive entered today’s meeting with the firm intention of taking the strongest possible stand against any wage-cutting. The Mapam claims that the curtailment of wages is not warranted and challenges the government assertion that the index of the cost of living has gone down substantially. The Mapam leaders charge that the latest index figures published by the government were falsified.

The establishment of the first Arab kibbutz in Israel, founded along the lines of the Jewish collective settlements, was announced today at the Histadrut’s agricultural convention, which is taking place at Petach Tikvah. The announcement was made by leaders of the Arab Labor Federation, affiliated with the Mapai.

The Arab kibbutz is named Uhuva, Arabic for brotherhood. It is situated near Lydda and has, as its nucleus, 27 men, three women and three children. Organized Arab labor in Israel is considerably impressed with the success of the Jewish settlements and with the fact that desert land has been converted by Jewish settlers into flourishing collective colonies.

Twenty-eight members of the Israeli Communist Party, who were expelled from the Bashamer Hatzair collective settlement in Zikim, announced today that they will establish their own kibbutz. The announcement said the group has already signed an agreement with the Jewish Agency for the acquisition of land near Rehovot.

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