Israel Unemployment Checked, Myerson Says; Mapam Groups Challenge Histadrut Wage Policy

The rising tide of unemployment in Israel has been checked, Labor Minister Golda Myerson last night told a meeting of administrative leaders of government labor exchanges throughout the country. She reported that the government has expanded its public works program and is now spending 2,800,000 pounds ($7,840,000) for various projects and is planning the construction of 200,000 new housing units.

(Reuters reported today that a suggestion that the Israel pound be devalued from its present value of $2.80 to $2.00 or $2.20 is being discussed in Israel Treasury circles. The object, Reuters said, is to attract more American capital. It added that the change is being considered only in relation to American dollars, but not in relation to the pound sterling.)

The Histadrut executive today called on members of the labor federation not to support local actions committees which have been calling on workers to oppose the Histadrut’s recent decision to permit employers to out the cost of living bonus now paid to all workers in Israel. The local actions committees, most of whose members are Mapam adherents, have called a general meeting in Tel Aviv to counteract the Histadrut executive’s action which was announced in placards posted throughout the city.

The Histadrut executive also denounced the actions of the committees as threatening to undermine Histadrut discipline and authority. It called on organized workers “not to become instruments of the destruction of the disciplined labor front.”

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