2,000 Demonstrate in Tel Aviv Against Histadrut’s Acceptance of Cost of Living Cut

Two thousand Israel workers today demonstrated here against the Histadrut’s decision to accept a second cut in the cost of living bonus. The demonstration was called by local actions committees sponsored by the Mapam and the Communist Party, which had expected 10,000 persons at the rally.

The Histadrut executive immediately denounced the rally, which marched on the Histadrut building. Pinchas Lubianiker, secretary-general of the labor federation, convened a special meeting of the executive this afternoon and told it that the workers must be made “to understand that the Mapam’s objective is to undermine the united front and solidarity of the Histadrut.” Mr. Lubianiker warned that the Histadrut will “sever the threatening arm” from the remainder of the organization. It is understood that the federation will expel all affiliated members responsible for organizing today’s demonstration.

In a statement to the press, issued after the demonstration, Mr. Lubianiker called the protest meeting a failure because only 2,000 of some 60,000 Histadrut workers in the Tel Aviv district had attended. He declared that this proved that Israel workers backed the government’s austerity program and the Histadrut’s decision to cooperate with that program to the extent of accepting the wage cuts. He added that the Histadrut will also call on the workers to increase their productivity in order to make Israel’s economy independent. He accused the leftists of not fighting for labor but of attacking the “essential” austerity program.

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